Yelp Has Some Serious Giddy-Up

Yelp (YELP) got unmercifully sold off as part of the Facebook (FB) IPO debacle a few weeks ago.There was no reason for it, but the stock briefly broke its IPO price a couple of weeks ago when it got down to $14.

That's around the time I went on Bloomberg TV's Money Moves to stick up for the stock and continue to speak bullishly about the company.

And since that time, the stock has been on an absolute tear. It's up 50% in two weeks. The stock is now at $21.50 and looks ready to move higher.

Where does the stock go from here?

The biggest announcement of the last few weeks was Apple ( AAPL) confirming that Yelp would be more deeply integrated into Siri to provide its users with more relevant local search results when they use the voice-automated personal assistant. Investors are assuming that this partnership will lead to much more significant traffic to Yelp.

But another interesting announcement from last week was that Yelp would get more deeply integrated into Microsoft's ( MSFT) Bing search results.

On the surface, both deals make sense for Yelp since it rejected Google's (GOOG) buyout offer a couple of years ago and then got into a scrap with Google for scraping Yelp's data for its search results. So, why wouldn't Yelp want to team up with folks who are anti-Google like Microsoft and Apple?

But there's something also very interesting about both of these announcements. Both deals put Yelp in your car for future local business searches.

At Apple's WWDC event last week they announced that they be integrating Siri into future car models. You'll eventually have a Siri button you press and then talk to your personal assistant in the car just as you do on your iPhone. It's going to be very important for you to know the nearest gas station or Panera Bread to you when you're driving around.

Microsoft has also been making a big push of voice technology into a line of cars and, more recently, getting some of their other applications like Bing included. So, now users will be able to get details for local businesses as they drive around, whether in an Apple-friendly car or a Microsoft-friendly one.

In Yelp's original IPO filing, they actually talk about the potential for their service in cars. In some ways, Yelp could become a new in-car ad network.

So, Yelp is back to where it was a few weeks ago prior to its earnings announcement, in which they raised full year guidance. It's still an attractive buyout candidate for someone. I still like them.

At the time of publication, Eric Jackson held no positions in stocks mentioned.

Eric Jackson is founder and Managing Member of Ironfire Capital and the general partner and investment manager of Ironfire Capital US Fund LP and Ironfire Capital International Fund, Ltd. In January 2007, Jackson started the world's first Internet-based campaign to increase shareholder value at Yahoo!, leading to a change in CEOs in 2007. He also spoke out in favor of Yahoo!'s accepting Microsoft's buyout offer in 2008. Global Proxy Watch named Jackson as one of its 10 "Stars" who positively influenced international corporate governance and shareowner value in 2007.

Prior to founding Ironfire Capital, Jackson was President and CEO of Jackson Leadership Systems, Inc., a leadership, strategy, and governance consulting firm. He completed his Ph.D. in the Management Department at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York, with a specialization in Strategic Management and Corporate Governance, and holds a B.A. from McGill University.

He was previously Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at VoiceGenie Technologies, a software firm now owned by Alcatel-Lucent. In 2004, Jackson founded the Young Patrons' Circle at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, which is now the second-largest social and philanthropic group of its kind in North America, raising $500,000 annually for the museum. You can follow Jackson on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ericjackson or @ericjackson.

You can contact Eric by emailing him at eric.jackson@thestreet.com.

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