Yelp shares soared 25% to $31.65 Thursday morning after the company revealed strong quarterly results for the first quarter of 2013. Revenue grew 68% to $46.1 million, compared to $27.4 million in Q1 2012. Adjusted EBIDTA was $3.2 million, compared to an EBIDTA loss of $1 million in the year ago quarter. That beat out Wall Street consensus, which called for $44.5 million in revenue and $1.5 million EBIDTA.
Additionally, Yelp’s net loss is shrinking. In Q1 2013, Yelp came in with a net loss of $4.8 million, which is down from a net loss of $9.8 million in Q1 2012.
Analysts from Oppenheimer, Jefferies, Macquarie, and RBC have all raised their price targets for Yelp. Tom White of Macquarie said in a research note Thursday morning that Yelp’s results prove that “the company remains well-positioned for the eventual shift to local ad budgets and online channels.”
Average unique monthly visitors grew 43% year-over-year to 102 million, while active local business accounts grew 63% to some 45,000.
"This quarter we achieved many milestones including a record 102 million unique visitors on a monthly average basis, demonstrating the strength of our content and the trust we have earned from consumers,” said Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, in a statement. “We provide valuable leads to local businesses because consumers turn to Yelp at the critical point when they are making purchase decisions. Looking to the rest of the year, we will continue to focus our product innovation around the mobile experience and new features to better serve the consumer and local business owners, and we will continue integrating Qype into the Yelp platform."
Among some other interesting highlights for the quarter, Yelp’s mobile strategy is coming along nicely. Some 36% of all local ads were shown on mobile devices in Q1, and the mobile app was used on approximately 10 million unique mobile devices on a monthly basis.
And Yelp is adding new content. The company has worked with local governments to develop an open data standard to add health inspection scores to restaurant business pages.
Additionally, a study by the Boston Consulting Group found that a business saw an average revenue lift of $8000 a year just by claiming their free business owner account on Yelp. And businesses that advertise on Yelp see an average revenue lift of $23,000 a year.
Yelp is setting its Q2 guidance at $52.5 million to $53.5 million in revenue, with EBITDA in the range of $4.5 million to $5 million. For the full year, Yelp is expecting $216-218 million in revenue and EBITDA of $21-23 million.
Yelp shares are up 17.39% over the last year.
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