Yowza! Yelp surges to 64 percent gain in first day of trading

In its IPO on the Nasdaq, the local-reviews site starts the day at $15 a share, but quickly jumps much higher.

Yelp shares are soaring in early trading.
Yelp shares are soaring in early trading. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

If there was any doubt about Yelp's IPO pricing, it should be laid to rest right now.

The local-reviews site kicked off its IPO at $15 a share today on the Nasdaq, but soon after trading began, the stock jumped 73 percent to $26. After hitting the high mark, the shares cooled off a bit, eventually ending the day up 64 percent to land at $24.58.

Yelp in November announced its plans to go public . The company yesterday priced its shares at $15 , raising $107.25 million on the 7.15 million shares it made available.

From a financial perspective, Yelp has been rather disappointing. The company's revenue hit only $83.3 million last year, and its annual loss reached $16.7 million. Yelp's management has acknowledged that in order to be profitable, it'll need to invest cash back into the business--something far more possible now that it has gone public.

Now that Yelp's IPO is out of the way, investors with their eyes on Web startups can turn their attention to the big fish: Facebook. The world's largest social network is expected to go public within the next few months , and could very well be the biggest IPO of the year. Given Yelp's strong showing today, good times might be ahead for Facebook as well.

Update 7:31 a.m. PT and 1:46 p.m. PT to include more details and add the closing price.

 

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