Yelp (NYSE:YELP) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Yelp (NYSE:YELP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have a $38.00 price objective on the local business review company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 6.74% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Yelp is benefiting from rising food take-out and delivery orders. Besides, it is witnessing acceleration in consumer traffic across app-unique devices. Significant improvement in cumulative reviews is encouraging too. The company’s sustained focus on expanding its product portfolio with the launch of Verified License, Business Highlights, Yelp Portfolios and Yelp Fusion remains a key growth driver. However, coronavirus-led lockdowns and shelter-in-home guidelines are hurting the top line. Yelp is also highly dependent on advertising revenues. Hence, a decline in ad spending in major industries does not bode well. Moreover, waived advertising fees and paused advertising programs were provided to affected customers during the pandemic, which also affected growth. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry over the past year.”

YELP has been the subject of several other research reports. Barclays upped their price target on shares of Yelp from $31.00 to $32.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Friday, November 5th. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price target on shares of Yelp from $53.00 to $51.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Friday, November 5th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reduced their price target on shares of Yelp from $44.00 to $40.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, December 15th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, Yelp currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $39.69.

Shares of NYSE:YELP opened at $35.60 on Thursday. Yelp has a 52 week low of $30.53 and a 52 week high of $43.86. The company has a market capitalization of $2.60 billion, a PE ratio of 75.74 and a beta of 1.76. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $36.40 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $37.65.

Yelp (NYSE:YELP) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, November 4th. The local business review company reported $0.23 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.01) by $0.24. Yelp had a net margin of 3.79% and a return on equity of 4.60%. The firm had revenue of $269.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $261.87 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned ($0.01) earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 21.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Yelp will post 0.39 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Yelp news, insider Vivek Patel sold 6,090 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.12, for a total transaction of $219,970.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CTO Sam Eaton sold 4,169 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.65, for a total transaction of $152,793.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 9.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. bought a new position in Yelp during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $40,000. Maverick Capital Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Yelp in the 2nd quarter valued at $43,000. US Bancorp DE increased its stake in shares of Yelp by 63.0% in the 3rd quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 1,213 shares of the local business review company’s stock valued at $46,000 after acquiring an additional 469 shares in the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Yelp in the 3rd quarter valued at $62,000. Finally, FORA Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of Yelp in the 2nd quarter valued at $63,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.51% of the company’s stock.

Yelp Company Profile

Yelp, Inc operates a platform that connects consumers with local businesses in the United States and internationally. The company’s platform covers various local business categories, including restaurants, shopping, beauty and fitness, health, and other categories, as well as home, local, auto, professional, pets, events, real estate, and financial services.

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