I have good news and bad news. The good news is that Yelp topped Wall Street’s expectations by raking in $41.2 million in revenue in the fourth quarter or 2012. The bad news is that it still suffered an overall loss—and it lost more in 2012 than it did in 2011.
While analysts like Doug Anmuth of J.P. Morgan were expecting $40.5 million in revenue—at the high end of Yelp’s guidance of $40-40.5 million, the company surprised with $41.2 million, a 65% increase over Q4 2011. But Yelp suffered a net loss of $5.3 million, which is an improvement over Q4 2011 when the company lost $9.1 million. But translated to the full year, Yelp lost $19.1 million, compared to $16.9 million in 2011.
Yelp brought in $137.6 million in revenue for 2012, an increase of 65% over 2011, when it took home $83.3 million in revenue.
Yelp may be losing money, but it’s not losing users. Unique monthly visitors grew 31% in 2012 to approximately 86 million, while cumulative reviews grew by 45% to more than 36 million. Meanwhile, active local business accounts grew 68% year over year to some 39,800.
“We believe 2013 will be a tipping point for our brand in Europe as Yelp continues to become a trusted local resource,” said Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, in a statement. “Our mobile strategy will remain a top priority as engagement increases, and we will continue to focus on the business owner, creating more ways to measure the value of Yelp leads."
Yelp is ramping up its international presence. The company opened its first international sales office in London last year, and it launched in Poland and Turkey, bringing its total number of Yelp countries to 20.
2012 was also a big year for mobile. Some 25% of Yelp’s local ads were viewed on mobile devices in Q4, and the Yelp app itself was used on over 9.2 million different devices on a monthly basis.
The company also made a few noteworthy partnerships to distribute its branded content, such as via Apple Maps for iOS 6, as well as Bing, Mercedes, and Lexus.
Yelp provided Q1 guidance of $44-44.5 million, and $210-212 million for the full year of 2013.
Shares were down 2.8% in after-hours trading to $21.75.