Yelp posts smaller-than-expected loss; CFO to step down
Consumer review website operator Yelp Inc reported a smaller-than-estimated loss on Monday, but its shares slumped 12 percent, swept up in a broader selloff in the technology sector.The company said its results were released ahead of schedule due to a vendor error by PR Newswire, leading to a spike in volatility in its shares.Yelp also said Chief Financial Officer Rob Krolik would step down. Krolik, who joined the company in 2011, will continue in his current role till Dec. 15, 2016, or until a replacement is hired, the company said in a statement.Yelp's revenue rose about 40 percent in the fourth quarter, topping analysts' estimates, helped by the strength in its advertising business and a rise in mobile usage.Local advertising accounts in the quarter rose 32 percent to about 111,000, which was in line with estimates from market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.
The San Francisco-based company has been trying to expand outside the United States and diversify into services such as restaurant bookings, event management and payments to counter increasing competition.Yelp competes with OpenTable in the restaurants booking business and Angie's List Inc in the listings business. In December, Facebook Inc quietly debuted a feature that helps users find local businesses based on customer reviews that could emerge as a strong competitor.The company said it expected to report net revenue of $154 million-$157 million in the first quarter, largely above the $154.4 million estimated by the analysts.
Yelp reported a net loss of $22.2 million, or 29 cents per share, attributable to common stockholders for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of $32.7 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the company posted a loss of 2 cents per share, while analysts were expecting a loss of 3 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose to $153.7 million from $109.9 million. Analysts had expected revenue of $152.4 million for the quarter.Yelp's shares were down 11.5 percent at $16.02 in afternoon trading on Monday. They fell as much as 15 percent in early session, touching a more than three year low of $15.50.(This version of the story corrects day of week to Monday instead of Wednesday, last paragraph) (Reporting by Alan John Koshy and Lehar Maan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)