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Yelp Goes Public to Rave Reviews

Still, the company continues to lose money and has tough rivals


YelpOnline review site Yelp (NYSE:YELP) started its publicly traded life with a bang Friday, with shares finishing up almost 64% to $24.58 after an IPO pricing of $15 that was well above its $12-$14 range.

The deal shows that investors still have an appetite for social stocks, as seen with the strong performances of the IPOs of Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) and LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD). Yelp also got a boost from the the success of other online local companies, such as like Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) and Angie’s List (NASDAQ:ANGI), which have hefty valuations.

Of course, investors still should consider the risks. Yelp generated a loss of $16.1 million last year, and the company must deal with tough competitors like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG).

Yelp also has been a laggard with its international strategy and has had difficulties getting traction outside of categories like shopping and restaurants.

But at least for today, investors don’t seem to really care about the pitfalls. Of course, one reason for their appetite might be that Yelp could be the last social IPO until Facebook hits the market in May. As I discussed in a recent piece, the Facebook IPO likely will create an IPO “black hole.”

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He also is the author of “All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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