Yelp’s Loss Narrows as It Signs Up More Businesses

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -

Yelp Inc. said Wednesday that its first-quarter loss narrowed as more local businesses signed up for the online review site’s services.

The results were better than expected and the company raised its revenue guidance for the year, sending shares higher in after-hours trading.

Business accounts rose 65 percent to about 74,000 from a year ago, the company said. Average monthly unique visitors to the site rose 30 percent to 132 million.

Yelp lets customers review restaurants, dry cleaners and other local businesses on its website and apps. Businesses can buy advertising on the site.

It reported a loss of $2.6 million, or 4 cents per share, in the three months that ended on March 31, compared with a loss of $4.8 million, or 8 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue jumped 66 percent, to $76.4 million from $46.1 million. Analysts had expected a loss of 6 cents per share and revenue of $75 million, according to FactSet.

For 2014, the company now expects revenue between $363 million and $367 million, up from its previous guidance between $353 million and $358 million. Analysts expected revenue of $358.9 million.

For the current quarter, it expects revenue between $85 million and $86 million, in line with analysts’ prediction.

Shares of the San Francisco company rose $3.33, or 5.7 percent, to $61.65 in trading after the market closed Wednesday. Its shares have more than doubled in the last year.