May 1, 2013 / 8:17 PM / 4 years ago

Yelp loss narrows on strength in ad business

(Reuters) - Consumer review website Yelp Inc (YELP.N) reported quarterly results ahead of analysts' estimates, helped by strength in its local and mobile advertising businesses, and it forecast second-quarter revenue above expectations.

Yelp shares were up 9 percent in after-market trading after closing at $25.30 on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares have risen 20 percent in the last three months.

The company expects second-quarter revenue in the range of $52.5 million to $53.5 million, above the average analyst expectation of $50.6 million.

Yelp has been facing tough competition from Facebook Inc (FB.O) after the social networking company unveiled in January a search feature that enables users to trawl their network of friends to find everything from restaurants to movie recommendations.

Yelp said it got 36 percent of local ads from mobile devices, and said it launched display ads on mobile phones in the first quarter.

The mobile app helps people to discover local businesses. It combines Yelp's reviews and other relevant information with knowledge of the user's location.

Net loss narrowed to $4.8 million, or 8 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31, from $9.8 million, or 31 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose about 68 percent to $46.1 million.

Analysts had expected a loss of 6 cents per share on revenue of $44.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Active local business accounts rose 63 percent, while average monthly unique visitors increased 43 percent.

Yelp got about 79 percent of its total revenue of $137.6 million from local ads in 2012.

The company, which went public in March last year, was founded by former PayPal engineers Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons as a start-up in 2004.

Reporting by Chandni Doulatramani in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel

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