Yelp Inc (YELP) Shares Spike on Renewed Takeover Chatter

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Although the chatter is vague and can not be confirmed, shares of Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) have spiked over the last hour of trading as rumors spread that the company may be involved in acquistion discussions. The other party who may be involved has not been revealed, and this isn’t the first time that Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) has been at the center of such rumors.

Back in September the company’s stock spiked on similar rumors, only to drop further over the ensuing weeks. Rumors also came about last month, which were quickly squashed. Despite today’s spike, shares of Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) are still in the red for the day after briefly visiting positive territory. The stock had a terrible 2015, but closed out the year relatively strong. We will be following this developing story and update this article should further rumors or details emerge.

The stock has dropped 0.20% or $0.05 trading at $25.22, despite this positive news. Approximately 1.15M shares traded hands. YELP shares have declined 46.41% since June 4, 2015 and are currently downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 41.71%.

From a total of 27 analysts covering Yelp (NYSE:YELP) stock, 9 rate it a “Buy”, 3 a “Sell”, and 15 a “Hold”. This means that 33% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $50 while the lowest target price is $17.50. The mean of all analyst targets is $30.91 which is 22.56% above today’s ($25.22) stock price. Yelp was the topic of 38 analyst reports since July 28, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Suntrust Robinson maintained shares on December 30 with a “Buy” rating. TH Capital initiated shares with a”Sell” rating and a $17.50 target share price in their report from an October 28. RBC Capital Markets upgraded YELP stock in a recent report from November 13 to a “Outperform” rating. Roth Capital initiated the rating on October 28. Roth Capital has a “Sell” rating and a $17.50 price target on shares. Finally, Barclays Capital maintained the stock with a “Equal-Weight” rating in a report they issued on an October 29.

The institutional sentiment decreased to 0.63 in Q2 2015. It’s down 0.87, from 1.5 in 2015Q2. The ratio is negative, as 90 funds sold all their Yelp Inc shares they owned while 60 reduced their positions. 29 funds bought stakes while 65 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 49.74 million shares which is 17.75% less than the previous share count of 60.47 million in 2015Q2.

Tybourne Capital Management Hk Ltd holds 9.38% of its total portfolio in Yelp Inc, equating to 6.15 million shares. Stonerise Capital Management Llc owns 891,800 shares representing 8.54% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Dragoneer Investment Group Llc has 6.54% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 767,636 shares. The New York-based Brightfield Capital Management Llc has a total of 5.56% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Kerrisdale Advisers Llc, a New York-based fund reported 739,664 shares owned.

Since March 5, 2015, the stock had 0 insider purchases, and 11 sales for a total of $1.42 million in net activity. Donaker Geoffrey L sold 6,000 shares worth $134,297. Nachman Joseph R sold 385 shares worth $9,123. Wilson Laurence sold 385 shares worth $9,123. Stoppelman Jeremy sold 8,000 shares worth $284,878. The insider Krolik Robert J sold 15,000 shares worth $729,797.

Yelp Inc. connects people with local businesses by bringing ‘word of mouth’ online and providing a platform for businesses and clients to engage and transact. The company has a market cap of $1.94 billion. The Firm provides local business review sites. It has 226.55 P/E ratio. Yelp provides a platform for clients to share their everyday local business experiences, through reviews, tips, photos and videos, and engage directly with businesses, through reviews and its Message the Business feature.

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