Yelp Inc. YELP, +6.71% shares gained as much as 10% Wednesday afternoon after the online-reviews site posted a big holiday-earnings beat and revealed a board reshuffle. Yelp reported earnings of 37 cents a share on revenue of $243.7 million, after posting tax-assisted earnings of $1.60 a share on revenue of $218.2 million in the year-ago fourth quarter. Analysts on average expected earnings of 10 cents a share on sales of $241.1 million. Yelp also said that it was replacing three board members — Geoff Donaker, Jeremy Levine, and Peter Fenton — with new blood in the form of George Hu, Sharon Rothstein and Brian Sharples. Hedge fund SQN Investors LP, one of the company’s largest shareholders, asked Yelp to change the composition of the board amid a push for changes at the company. Yelp promised strong growth in the future after recording a sales increase of less than 10% for 2018, a common issue for the company — Yelp promised to reach $1 billion in annual revenue in 2017 and failed, and then came up short again in 2018 with $942 million in annual revenue. “For the next five years, we see mid-teens revenue growth and Adjusted EBITDA margins in the 30-35% range by 2023,” Yelp Chief Executive Jeremy Stoppelman promised in Wednesday’s announcement. Yelp also doubled its share-repurchase authorization to $500 million. Yelp shares ranged from 5% to 10% higher in after-hours trading following the announcement.
Yelp Inc. shares rose $2.61 (+6.79%) in after-hours trading Wednesday. Year-to-date, YELP has gained 9.92%, versus a 10.03% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
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