Yelp shares soar after report that it's up for sale

Yelp (YELP) shares surged Thursday after a report that that online business review may be up for sale.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Yelp (paywall) is working with investment bankers to court potential suitors following a series of disappointments that have wiped out more than half of the company's market value during the past eight months.

The newspaper cited people it did not identify who are familiar with the matter and cautioned that Yelp Inc. still might not pursue a sale.

The company's stock rose $8.79, or 23 percent, to close at $47.01. Shares of Yelp, which has a market capitalization of $3.4 billion, remained well below their 52-week high of $86.88 reached in September.

Yelp didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

If Yelp auctions itself off, the sales price would probably exceed $3 billion.