Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. The firm presently has a $54.00 price objective on the local business review company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 15.58% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Yelp, Inc. is a website engaged in providing information through online community offering social networking. It covers restaurants, shopping, nightlife, financial services, health and a variety of services. The company serves customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Belgium. Yelp, Inc. is headquartered in San Francisco, California. “

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and issued a $26.00 price target (down from $28.00) on shares of Yelp in a report on Thursday, July 20th. BidaskClub raised shares of Yelp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $42.00 price target on shares of Yelp in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Cantor Fitzgerald cut shares of Yelp from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price target for the company from $46.73 to $44.00 in a report on Monday, October 9th. Finally, KeyCorp reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $54.00 price target on shares of Yelp in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating, twenty have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $42.37.

Yelp (NYSE:YELP) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The local business review company reported $0.29 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.02) by $0.31. The business had revenue of $222.40 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $220.75 million. Yelp had a net margin of 1.67% and a return on equity of 1.60%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 19.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.22 earnings per share.

Yelp announced that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, August 3rd that permits the company to buyback $200.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the local business review company to purchase up to 7.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other Yelp news, insider Laurence Wilson sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.18, for a total transaction of $1,385,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 187,739 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,669,787.02. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Geoffrey L. Donaker sold 42,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.00, for a total transaction of $1,680,000.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 47,590 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,903,600. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 366,481 shares of company stock valued at $15,712,350 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 10.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. FNY Managed Accounts LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Yelp in the third quarter worth approximately $100,000. Strs Ohio purchased a new stake in shares of Yelp in the second quarter worth approximately $108,000. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of Yelp in the second quarter worth approximately $112,000. FNY Partners Fund LP lifted its position in shares of Yelp by 18,650.0% in the first quarter. FNY Partners Fund LP now owns 3,750 shares of the local business review company’s stock worth $122,000 after purchasing an additional 3,730 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Yelp by 98.8% in the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 4,091 shares of the local business review company’s stock worth $123,000 after purchasing an additional 2,033 shares in the last quarter. 89.28% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Yelp (NYSE:YELP)

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