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Yelp is growing, engagement is rising - but there is one red flag in the data

3 months ago by Jon Marino in Big Tech, Consumer, Earnings

Yelp ($NYSE:YELP) hiring busted out of a slump first, and on Thursday November 7, the stock followed and shares rose on rosy guidance. 

Yelp CEO and founder Jeremy Stoppleman dropped out of Harvard Business School and launched what would become the popular ratings app in 2004, and has ignored suitors including Google as he developed a global review website. The stock peaked (for now, at least) in 2014, nearing $100 a share, and has underperformed a rising market in the time since.

However, Yelp is showing continuing signs of growth. As our first chart shows, job postings aren't just up about 16% in the second half 2019, they're near a three-year high. 

Another good bit of news for Yelp and Stoppleman is that Apple Store Review Counts continue to rise. In the back half of 2019, they continue to grow, nearly 5% so far. 

But it's clear that some issues remain, because while engagement and employment opportunities at Yelp appear to be on the rise, if Yelp itself got Yelp reviews they wouldn't be looking as great. Our final chart tracks the reviews submitted over time through the Apple ($NASDAQ:AAPL) Store, and through it we see Yelp's ratings on a 0-5 scale have declined more than 9%. What's more is, Thinknum data (not shown) reveal a decline that is less substantial in Yelp's ratings in the Google ($NASDAQ:GOOG) Play store. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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