Yelp Stock Surges Thanks to Lofty Bull Note

The security already sports an over 99% year-over-year lead

Digital Content Manager
Mar 30, 2021 at 10:03 AM
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The shares of Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) are up 6.6% to trade at $39.59 at last check, after the review website received an upgrade from Citigroup to "buy" from "neutral," as well as a price-target hike to $48 from $33. The analyst in coverage expects strong growth and operating leverage, with the company set to benefit from local businesses reopening, sales moving to self-service channel, and moderating lease costs over the next few years.

On the charts, the equity had been trekking higher since late 2020, most recently hitting a three-year high of $43.85 on March 15. And while shares have pulled back since then, the supportive 60-day moving average came in as a mode of support, alongside the $36 level. Year-over-year, Yelp stock is up 112.2%.

The brokerage bunch is still hesitant towards the security, with 13 of the 15 in question carrying a tepid "hold" or worse rating, while the remaining two say "buy" or better. Plus, the 12-month consensus price target of $37.20 is right in line with current levels. This leaves the door wide open for additional upgrades and/or price-target hikes moving forward.

Meanwhile, short sellers are hitting the exits, though there is still plenty of pessimism left to be unwound. Short interest fell 11.5% over the last two reporting periods, yet the 4.25 million shares sold short still account for a notable 6% of the security's available float.

Additional tailwinds could come from a shift in the options pits. This is per Yelp stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.51 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which stands in the 91st percentile of its annual range. This means puts are being picked up at a faster-than-usual rate. 

Lastly, now looks like a good time to weigh in on YELP's next move with options. The security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 53% stands in the 10th percentile of the past 12 months, indicating the equity sports affordably priced premiums at the moment.

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