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Yelp Shares Surge 7% On Rosy Outlook, Q4 Loss Narrows

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Shares of Yelp, Inc. (YELP: Quote) surged more than seven percent in extended trading on Wednesday after the consumer review website provided rosy revenue outlook for the first quarter and full-year 2014.

The company also reported a loss for the fourth quarter that narrowed from last year, reflecting strong double-digit revenue growth. Loss per share for the quarter matched analysts' expectations, while quarterly revenues topped their estimates.

San Francisco-based Yelp reported a net loss of $2.07 million or $0.03 per share for the fourth quarter, narrower than $5.32 million or $0.08 per share in the prior-year quarter.

On average, 25 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report a loss of $0.03 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Net revenue for the quarter surged 72 percent to $70.65 million from $41.16 million in the same quarter last year, and topped twenty-eight Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of $67.27 million.

Yelp said cumulative reviews for the quarter grew 47 percent year-over-year to about 53.0 million. Average monthly unique visitors grew 39 percent to about 120 million, and active local business accounts surged 69 percent from the year-ago quarter to about 67,000.

Yelp added that it had about 53 million mobile unique visitors in the fourth quarter, including both mobile web and mobile app users, with 30 percent of new reviews being contributed through mobile devices.

During the quarter, Yelp said completed the integration of Qype, migrating 1.8 million reviews and 1.4 million photos to Yelp from Qype Germany. Yelp also expanded its European sales efforts and is now selling Yelp products in France, Spain and Germany.

Yelp is now available in 24 countries on five continents, with the launches of New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Brazil and Portugal in 2013.

"2013 was an outstanding year for Yelp. We enhanced the mobile experience, brought on thousands of new local business customers and completed the integration of Qype, which accelerated our European expansion," CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said in a statement.

For fiscal 2013, Yelp reported a net loss of $10.07 million or $0.15 per share, narrower than $19.15 million or $0.35 per share in the prior year. Net revenue for the full year surged 69 percent to $232.99 million from $137.57 million in the previous year.

Street was looking for full-year 2013 loss of $0.15 per share on annual revenues of $229.64 million.

Looking ahead, Yelp expects first-quarter revenues in a range of $73.5 million to $74.5 million, and revenues for the full-year 2014 between $353 million and $358 million. Analysts were looking for first quarter revenues of $73.25 million, and full-year 2014 revenues of $347.85 million.

"Looking to 2014, we will continue our geographic expansion, add new products and programs for our community of writers and find even more ways to drive value to business owners," Stoppelman added.

YELP closed Wednesday's regular trading session at $75.23, down $2.56 or 3.29% on a volume of 6.47 million shares. However, the stock surged $5.57 or 7.40% in the after-hours trading.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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