Needham & Company LLC reissued their buy rating on shares of Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP) in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning, Marketbeat.com reports.

Several other equities analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Pacific Crest raised shares of Yelp from a sector weight rating to an overweight rating and increased their price target for the stock from $33.41 to $43.00 in a research report on Tuesday, April 11th. Wells Fargo & Company raised shares of Yelp from an underperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $27.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, May 5th. Vetr cut shares of Yelp from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $36.94 price target on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, April 20th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $37.00 price target on shares of Yelp in a research report on Friday, June 23rd. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Yelp from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $37.25.

Yelp (NYSE YELP) traded up 1.20% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $40.53. The stock had a trading volume of 897,445 shares. The firm has a market cap of $3.27 billion, a PE ratio of 547.70 and a beta of 1.48. Yelp has a 12-month low of $26.93 and a 12-month high of $43.41. The company has a 50-day moving average of $31.06 and a 200-day moving average of $33.37.

Yelp (NYSE:YELP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The local business review company reported $0.09 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.03) by $0.12. Yelp had a net margin of 1.67% and a return on equity of 1.64%. The business had revenue of $209.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $204.89 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.16 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 21.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Yelp will post $0.06 earnings per share for the current year.

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Yelp declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Thursday, August 3rd that permits the company to buyback $200.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the local business review company to repurchase up to 7.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Yelp news, SVP Laurence Wilson sold 3,128 shares of Yelp stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.23, for a total transaction of $88,303.44. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 181,947 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,136,363.81. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Charles Baker sold 12,176 shares of Yelp stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.23, for a total transaction of $343,728.48. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 116,862 shares in the company, valued at $3,299,014.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 52,251 shares of company stock worth $1,534,950. Corporate insiders own 10.10% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Swiss National Bank boosted its position in Yelp by 14.2% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 129,264 shares of the local business review company’s stock valued at $4,233,000 after buying an additional 16,100 shares during the last quarter. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. purchased a new position in Yelp during the first quarter valued at $159,000. First Manhattan Co. purchased a new position in Yelp during the second quarter valued at $11,158,000. TLP Group LLC purchased a new position in Yelp during the first quarter valued at $383,000. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its position in Yelp by 95.8% in the first quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 225,800 shares of the local business review company’s stock valued at $8,015,000 after buying an additional 110,500 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.79% of the company’s stock.

About Yelp

Yelp Inc (Yelp) connects people with local businesses by bringing ‘word of mouth’ online and providing a platform for businesses and consumers to engage and transact. The Company offers local business review sites. Yelp provides a platform for consumers to share their everyday local business experiences with other consumers by posting reviews, tips, photos and videos, and to engage directly with businesses, through reviews, its Request-A-Quote and Message the Business features, and by completing transactions on the Yelp Platform.

Analyst Recommendations for Yelp (NYSE:YELP)

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