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Yelp finishes IPO day strong with 63% gain

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Reviews website Yelp debuted today on the New York Stock Exchange at $15 a share and closed the day at $24.52, a 63% gain from the original price.

It was questionable how well Yelp would perform, considering the company earned just $83.3 million in net revenue in 2011 and lost $16.7 million during the same period. The site touts about 66 million monthly unique visitors, but it’s not exactly killin’ it when it comes actually making money. At the very least, Yelp raised more than $107 million with its IPO.

Yelp’s shares were priced at $15 a share last night, but when the stock actually become available on the market this morning, it started at about $22. That indicates non-institutional investors likely weren’t able to get their hands on the offering until it hit the market. The highest price point in trading for the stock was $26.00 in early trading.

At this point, we will have to see how Yelp continues to perform. PrivCo CEO Sam Hamadeh told VentureBeat yesterday that Yelp’s long-term prospects aren’t pretty, citing the company’s inability to turn a profit, competition from Facebook and Google, and low annual revenue.

“Beyond the opening day of trading, we don’t think Yelp will perform well given its many business model issues,” Hamadeh said. “Yelp can’t seem to be able to lose less as it grows, showing the unattractiveness of a business model based primarily on local advertising salespeople to sell to small local merchants.”

How do you think Yelp will perform long term?

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