Yelp Inc. (YELP): Street Finally Waking Up

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    The Vanguard Group, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Communication Services company by 1.10% to 6.22 million shares with purchase of 67631.0 shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 8.65% valued currently at $143.76 million. In addition, Prescott Investors, Inc. raised its holdings by 0.69 million to 5.89 million shares. And D. E. Shaw & Co. LP has lifted its position by 0.97% or 34575.0 shares – to 3.59 million shares.

    With over 0.77 million Yelp Inc. (YELP) shares trading Tuesday and a closing price of $23.87 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $18.4 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 3.38% and its price on 07/21/20 gained nearly 0.21%. Currently, there are 71.55M common shares owned by the public and among those 68.86M shares have been available to trade.

    An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 21 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for YELP have a consensus price objective of $23.44. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $34.00 and a low of $15.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Yelp Inc. stock is 2.90 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 2.93% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -59.13% over that period. But an upside of 29.79% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $22.00.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 50 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 25 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 365,384 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 25 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 77,797 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in Yelp Inc. are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF, and Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 1.98 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $45.71 million. The company bought an additional 91349.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.75% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund sold 20124.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 1.71 million shares at a value of $39.6 million. Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.38% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) opened at $24.63, up $0.81 from a prior closing price of $23.82. However, the script later closed the day at $23.87, up 0.21%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 3.38% and 24.97% over the past three months. YELP shares are trading -31.47% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -29.52% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $12.89 and touched a high of $39.37 over the same period. Currently, 0.77 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 1.39 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 3.88%, 4.05%, and -15.67% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) shares accounts for 96.80% of the company’s 71.55M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 43.13%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 51.36% and 11.87% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $1.72B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.50. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 77.50, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $0.31. The company has a PEG of 7.27 and a Quick Ratio of 4.20 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.00. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 3.49% over the week and 5.05% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that Yelp Inc. (YELP) will achieve an EPS of -$0.51 for the current quarter, -$0.16 for the next quarter and $0.12 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is -$0.77 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of -$0.27. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $0.16 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -16.00%, and 116.00% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of 10.66% over the next five years, compared to 5.20% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 21 brokerage firm advisors rate Yelp Inc. (YELP) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.90. Specifically, 4 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 15 of the 21 advise that investors “hold,” and 2 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the YELP, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. BTIG Research stated their Neutral rating for the stock in a research note on June 11, 2020, with the firm’s price target at. BMO Capital Markets coverage for the Yelp Inc. (YELP) stock in a research note released on May 11, 2020 offered a Market Perform rating with a price target of $26. RBC Capital Mkts was of a view on February 14, 2020 that the stock is Sector Perform, while Barclays gave the stock Underweight rating on February 14, 2020, issuing a price target of $30. Aegis Capital on their part issued Buy rating on September 13, 2019.

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