The online urban guide Yelp surprised market-watchers Friday morning by breaking out in its first day of public trading and jumping nearly 60 percent to a high of $26 per share around 10 a.m. The company had priced shares at $15 on Thursday night. As of 11 a.m., the company was trading at $24.49 per share.
The company has yet to turn a profit, but that didn’t seem to faze investors who have cooled on other recently public tech stocks such as Groupon and Zynga. Yelp, founded in 2004, was valued at $900 million ahead of its debut.
But Yelp is facing a lot of hurdles. The company’s filing for its initial public offering revealed that its prime competitor — that’d be Google — drives a great deal of its traffic. Yelp reportedly declined a $500 million acquisition offer from Google in 2009 and the rivalry between the two has only gotten fiercer since the Web giant acquired the restaurant review company, Zagat.