Yelp Chief Executive Jeremy Stoppelman, second from right, celebrates… (Justin Lane / EPA )
Yelp Inc.'s first quarter as a public company was, if nothing to yelp home about, not worth a bad review either.
The online business review website brought in $27.4 million in revenue during the quarter, a 66% jump from $16.5 million during the same quarter last year. Yelp's 2012 projected revenue also beat analysts' expectations, with the company predicting it will make $128 million to $132 million -- higher than the $124.4-million average from analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
But just weeks after it went public, Yelp continues to lose money at an increasing pace. It lost $9.83 million, or 31 cents per share, more than tripling its loss from the year-ago period.
Still, investors have taken a shine to the young business, and its stock rose 59 cents, or 2.61%, to $23.16 in regular trading and an additional 1.21% after hours.
"We feel really good about our first quarter results as a public company and continue to take a long-term view working to build this company into a successful global brand," said Yelp Chief Executive Jeremy Stoppelman on a conference call with investors, noting that the site launched in 11 new markets in the first quarter, for a total of 82.
Analyst noted that the number of reviews written on the site were up by nearly 60% from a year earlier, and its count of Web visitors increased by 50% -- showing that the site is still growing rapidly as it expands to new locations.
Stoppelman said his company's plan was to tap into a larger vein of the $130 billion annual local advertising business, only 15% of which he said is online.
"Clearly, there is a huge disconnect between where consumers are and where local advertising dollars are being spent, and we plan to grow into that opportunity in the years to come," he said.
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