UPDATE 1-Yelp loss narrows as mobile advertising grows

Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:48pm BST

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July 31 (Reuters) - Consumer reviews website Yelp Inc posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, helped by a stronger mobile advertising business, and it forecast third-quarter revenue above analysts' expectations.

Yelp shares jumped as much as 5 percent at $44 per share in trading after the bell. They have almost doubled since Yelp went public in March last year, as the company has gained from surging demand for information on mobile phones and tablets.

Yelp's mobile app makes it easier for people to discover local businesses, read user reviews or rate them. It combines Yelp's reviews and other relevant information with knowledge of a user's location.

Yelp said it got about 40 percent of its local ads from mobile devices, and 59 percent of search from mobile, which includes the mobile app and web.

The company said it expects third-quarter revenue of $58 million to $59 million, above the $57.4 million analysts had estimated, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company has been expanding into restaurant bookings, event management and payments.

It bought San Francisco-based online restaurant reservation company SeatMe Inc for $12.7 million this month to compete more closely with OpenTable Inc.

More than half its traffic comes from Google Inc. A good number of referrals also come from Apple Inc.

Its net loss narrowed to $0.9 million, or 1 cent per share, in the second quarter, from $2.0 million, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 68 percent to $55.0 million.

Analysts were expecting a loss of 4 cents per share, on revenue of $53.3 million.

About three quarters of the company's revenue comes from local advertising.

The company was founded by former PayPal engineers Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons as a start-up idea in a business incubator in 2004.

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