Why Yelp Is Surging: What Wall Street Thinks

Updated from 8:16 a.m. to include comments from JMP Securities analyst.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Yelp (YELP), the San Francisco-based online review company continues to beat Wall Street's expectations, as the company posted first-quarter results that topped expectations, sending shares surging.

For the first quarter, Yelp lost 4 cents a share on $76.4 million in revenue, as cumulative reviews grew 46% year over year to approximately 57 million. The company continues to work its way towards profitability, something that's become increasingly important on Wall Street recently for high growth technology stocks. In the year ago period, Yelp lost 8 cents a share.

Shares were surging in early Thursday trading, gaining 6.3% to $62.00.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast a net loss of 6 cents a share and revenue of $75.06 million.

The company, which competes with privately held YP.com (which it announced a deal with during the quarter) and to a lesser extent OpenTable (OPEN), noted average monthly unique visitors grew approximately 30% year over year to 132 million, according to Google Analytics. Average monthly mobile unique visitors grew 52% year over year to approximately 61 million.

During the quarter, Yelp also announced a deal with Yahoo! (YHOO), bringing Yelp's reviews, business information and star ratings to Yahoo! Search.

Yelp also noted that active local businesses continue to take to the platform, as there are now approximately 74,000 local business accounts on the service, up 65% year over year.

For the second quarter, Yelp said it expects sales between $85 million and $86 million, slightly ahead of what Wall Street was thinking, at $85.44 million in sales. The company also bumped up its full year revenue guidance, as it now expects sales between $363 million and $367 million, representing 57% growth. It had previously expected sales to be between $353 million and $358 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected full-year sales of $358.91 million.  

Following the earnings report and conference call, several analysts were raising their price targets, with a few of them upgrading the stock. Here's what a few of them had to say:

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