Will This Upgrade Help Yelp's (YELP) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Yelp Inc.'s (YELP) price target was raised to $105 from $90 by Wunderlich Securities who also reiterated their buy rating for the online business review company.

Yelp recently signed a deal with YP -- formerly Yellow Pages -- that will increase Yelp's reach into the small business community. Under the deal, YP will add listings to Yelp's database and Yelp would gain access to YP's 575,000 local business advertisers.

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"We are raising our estimates and price target on Yelp, to $105 from $90, to account for its strategic deal with YP and its recent integration into Yahoo Inc.'s (YHOO) local search results. We expect Yelp to increase its sales productivity and reach by being able to utilize YP's 4,000 strong sales force (4x the size of Yelp's), its 575,000 local business advertisers and its mobile ad network," their note said.

Yelp was down 3.08% to $74.92 in early market trading Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings team rates YELP INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate YELP INC (YELP) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The area that we feel has been the company's primary weakness has been its disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, YELP INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for YELP INC is currently very high, coming in at 93.03%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -2.92% is in-line with the industry average.
  • YELP has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 14.32, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • This stock has increased by 249.54% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the future course of this stock, we feel that the risks involved in investing in YELP do not compensate for any future upside potential, despite the fact that it has seen nice gains over the past 12 months.
  • YELP INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, YELP INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.16 versus -$0.30 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.04 versus -$0.16).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: YELP Ratings Report

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