Morgan Stanley Lowers Yelp (YELP) to Underweight

Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of Yelp (NYSE:YELP) from an equal weight rating to an underweight rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The brokerage currently has $29.00 target price on the local business review company’s stock, down from their previous target price of $31.00.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Yelp from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, September 28th. Cowen set a $39.00 price objective on Yelp and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Friday, November 9th. Deutsche Bank cut Yelp from a buy rating to a hold rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $64.00 to $34.00 in a research report on Friday, November 9th. MKM Partners reduced their price objective on Yelp to $40.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, November 29th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut Yelp from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $57.00 to $36.00 in a research report on Friday, November 9th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $40.18.

Yelp stock traded up $0.19 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $34.50. 1,925,125 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,914,203. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.97 billion, a P/E ratio of 492.86, a PEG ratio of 2.85 and a beta of 0.99. Yelp has a 12 month low of $29.33 and a 12 month high of $52.50.

Yelp (NYSE:YELP) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 8th. The local business review company reported $0.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.08 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $241.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $245.55 million. Yelp had a return on equity of 1.34% and a net margin of 18.04%. The company’s revenue was up 8.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.29 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Yelp will post 0.37 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO Jeremy Stoppelman sold 13,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.22, for a total transaction of $561,860.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Alan Ramsay sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.19, for a total value of $165,950.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 35,234 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,169,416.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 107,983 shares of company stock valued at $4,352,066 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 9.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in YELP. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group bought a new stake in shares of Yelp during the third quarter worth $161,000. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC bought a new position in Yelp in the third quarter valued at about $194,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC bought a new position in Yelp in the second quarter valued at about $206,000. Ibex Investors LLC bought a new position in Yelp in the third quarter valued at about $206,000. Finally, Hartford Investment Management Co. bought a new position in Yelp in the third quarter valued at about $232,000. Institutional investors own 90.40% of the company’s stock.

About Yelp

Yelp Inc operates a platform that connects people with local businesses in the United States, Canada, and internationally. The company's platform covers various local business categories, including restaurants, shopping, beauty and fitness, arts, entertainment and events, home and local services, health, nightlife, travel and hotel, auto, and others.

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Analyst Recommendations for Yelp (NYSE:YELP)

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