Yelp dips after coding error launches surprise earnings

Yelp employees in the New York City office.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
Yelp employees in the New York City office.

Shares of Yelp took a brief turn lower after the firm unexpectedly announced its fourth-quarter earnings Monday.

The local-review platform reported an adjusted loss per share of 2 cents, slightly above the 3-cent loss expected by Thomson Reuters analysts. Those earnings figures include stock-based compensation.

The company also reported higher-than-expected revenue of $153.7 million, beating the $152 million forecast by Thomson Reuters analysts. But Yelp said it expects adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to fall between $10 million and $12 million for the first quarter of 2016, below the $20.8 million EBITDA expected by StreetAccount.

Yelp's co-founder and chief executive officer, Jeremy Stoppelman, said in a statement he's pleased with the progress the company made over the past year.

"In 2016, our priorities are to continue to build our core local advertising business, further increase engagement and awareness and grow transactions," Stoppelman said. "With our rich, relevant review content and highly engaged consumer traffic, we are well-positioned to capture the enormous opportunity ahead of us."

Yelp separately said Chief Financial Officer Rob Krolik is stepping down and will leave the company in coming months. Yelp will immediately begin search for a new CFO, the company said.

The company was slated to report after the closing bell Monday, but results were released early due to a coding error by vendor PR Newswire, the company said in a statement.

"This is an extremely rare occurrence — we successfully handle more than 350,000 releases a year," said Dave Haapaoja, PR Newswire's senior vice president of global operations, in a statement to CNBC. "In this case, we did not meet our high standards for customer service. We are now implementing the steps to make sure that this error does not recur."

Shares were halted on the news, and whipsawed as they reopened, closing down 11.27 percent.

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