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March 02, 2012 at 10:04 AM EST
YELP Soars 64% on Debut; $83M ’11 Rev, $17M in Losses
Shares of Internet recommendations service Yelp (YELP) are up $9.69, or almost 65%, at $24.69, on their first morning of trading after the stock opened at $22, well above the $15 the stock priced at last night, which was, in turn, higher than the expected range of $12 to $14. Eight-year-old Yelp, whose offering was [...]

Shares of Internet recommendations service Yelp (YELP) are up $9.69, or almost 65%, at $24.69, on their first morning of trading after the stock opened at $22, well above the $15 the stock priced at last night, which was, in turn, higher than the expected range of $12 to $14.

Eight-year-old Yelp, whose offering was led by Goldman Sachs, Jefferies & Co., and Citigroup, made $83.3 million last year, a 74% year-over-year, increase, and lost $16.9 million, or $1.10 per share.

The company bills itself as connecting “people with great local businesses,” and boasts of having 25 million cumulative reviews of businesses in 46 markets in the U.S. and 25 internationally. It gets paid primarily from advertising on its Website, sold to local businesses but also to national brands.

The company claims 66 million unique visitors, on average, a month, and recognized revenue last year from 24,000 local business accounts, which it claims was more than double the year earlier.

Founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman was previously head of engineering at the PayPal unit of eBay (EBAY), and brought with him other executives from eBay, such as Yelp’s COO, Geoff Donaker. Fred Anderson, formerly CFO of Apple (AAPL), is on the board of directors.

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