Yelp, the local online business and restaurant guide that first launched in the U.S. in 2004 and now lives in 21 countries and 12 languages, and has more than 100 million monthly unique visitors as of January this year, launched in New Zealand this morning. On the heels of bringing its review data to Kiwis and continuing its international expansion, Yelp announced its first quarter earnings at market close today.
In the fourth quarter, Yelp missed earnings expectations, with net revenue coming in at $41.2 million in Q4 of 2012, a 65 percent growth in new revenue from 2011, while it saw a net loss of $5.3 million, or $0.08 per share. Today, Yelp turned things around, as it announced net revenue jumped to $46.1 million in Q1, reflecting a 68 percent growth from Q1 2012, while cumulative reviews grew 42 percent year-over-year to more than 39 million, average unique visitors grew 43 percent y/y and local business accounts grew 63 percent.
Wall Street’s consensus estimates were that Yelp would see $44.5 million in revenue for the quarter, and $1.5 million EBITDA. Yelp hurdled over the bar, in fact, seeing a net loss in the first quarter of 2013 of $4.8 million, or $0.08 per share. This means that while net losses only fell slightly from Q4 2012, it saw a more significant reduction in losses year-over year, $9.8 million, or $0.31 per share, over the first quarter of 2012.
In addition, compared to Wall Street estimates, Yelp said that adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2013 was $3.2 million, in comparison with an adjusted EBITDA loss of approximately $1 million for the first quarter of 2012.
In the quarterly earnings release today, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman trumped up Yelp’s milestones in the last quarter, namely its hitting a record 102 million unique users over the last quarter, while touching on its plans to improve on its mobile experience. Something that should be music to the ears of anyone with a smartphone.
“We had a great start to the year and are excited about the large opportunity in front of us,” Stoppelman said. “This quarter we achieved many milestones including a record 102 million unique visitors on a monthly average basis, demonstrating the strength of our content and the trust we have earned from consumers. We provide valuable leads to local businesses because consumers turn to Yelp at the critical point when they are making purchase decisions. Looking to the rest of the year, we will continue to focus our product innovation around the mobile experience and new features to better serve the consumer and local business owners, and we will continue integrating Qype into the Yelp platform.”
Other business highlights?
Yelp mobile saw 36 percent of local ads shown on mobile devices in the first quarter, while the app was used on 10 million unique devices over the quarter, building on the company’s launch of display ads on mobile for the first time in Q1.
In terms of guidance, Yelp expects revenue in the second quarter of 2013 to be in the range of $52.5 million to $53.5 million, which would represent a growth of around 62 percent compared to the second quarter 2012. Adjusted EBITDA is forecasted to fall in the range of $4.5 million to $5 million. For the full year 2013, net revenue is expected to be in between $216 million and $218 million, representing a 58 percent growth year-over-year.