Wed, Jul. 15, 9:29 AM
- Believing the issues that led the company to provide soft guidance in April are "transitory" rather than "structure" - a few others on the sell-side agree - Barclays' Paul Vogel has upgraded LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) to Overweight ahead of the company's July 30 Q2 report, and hiked his target by $25 to $250.
- Vogel: "While we don't believe Q2 will necessarily be a catalyst for the shares, we do think estimates have been reset appropriately with potential upside to numbers as we hit the back half of 2015 and into 2016 ... In our view, LNKD does have some work to do on targeting and tools (at least relative to their peers), but we believe demand is still high with a big opportunity to improve the product for future growth."
- He adds LinkedIn has pricing power for its core Talent Solutions offerings thanks to their high ROI, and forecasts a "slow but steady ramp" for the company's Sales Navigator social selling product. Checks point to "increased optionality for [Sales Navigator] in the intermediate to longer-term."
- Shares have risen to $219.00 premarket.
Thu, Jul. 9, 5:45 PM
- Mizuho's Neil Doshi has launched coverage on LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) after the close with a Buy rating and $240 target. Shares have risen 1.1% AH to $209.87, matching the gain they saw in regular trading.
- Separately, LinkedIn has announced its Q2 report will arrive after the close on July 30. Shares remain down 18% from where they traded before the company provided light guidance to go with a Q1 beat on April 30.
Mon, Jun. 29, 1:41 PM
- LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) is posting steep losses amid a 1.6% drop for the Nasdaq. Volume is moderate - 1.46M shares vs. a 3-month daily average of 2M. The declines comes after the professional social networking leader filed on Friday evening to allow Lynda.com shareholders to sell up to 3.57M shares at their discretion.
- BMO and Cantor published bullish notes last week, arguing (like others) the factors mostly responsible for LinkedIn's soft Q2/2015 guidance are temporary. BMO also provided upbeat remarks about LinkedIn's Lead Accelerator B2B marketing solution, and Cantor about its Sales Navigator social selling tool.
Fri, Jun. 26, 6:10 PM
- LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) has filed to allow shareholders in recently-acquired Lynda.com to sell up to 3.57M shares (slightly over 3% of outstanding shares) at their discretion.
- Potential sellers include a family trust controlled by Lynda.com co-founders Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin, and investors Accel Partners, TPG, Meritech Capital, and Spectrum.
- In April, LinkedIn struck a $1.5B deal to buy Lynda.com - 52% of the payout is in cash, and 48% in stock. Sell-side reactions to LinkedIn's purchase of the online learning platform have been largely positive, but the deal hasn't been without its growing pains.
Thu, Jun. 18, 3:21 AM
- Lagging behind other social networks in mobile use, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) is developing two new apps and a major mobile messaging overhaul.
- The apps being tested are LinkedIn Groups, which alerts users when messages are posted to groups to which they belong, and LinkedIn LookUp, which allows users to find information about co-workers at their company.
Wed, Jun. 3, 2:22 PM
- LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) refuses to take a breather: With the help of activist/Icahn rumors and an upbeat RBC note, the professional social networking leader is now up 9% on the week. Shares are still down 23% from a February high of $276.18, after having nosedived in response to LinkedIn's Q2/2015 guidance.
- Bullish comments from JPMorgan's Doug Anmuth (Overweight rating, $300 target) could be helping out today. Like RBC's Mark Mahaney, Anmuth thinks the impact of a recent Talent Solutions salesforce reorg will be limited, and that business trends are improving.
- Anmuth: "Management's communication around the sales force changes & Lynda accounting impact was lacking, but we believe it has helped create an attractive opportunity at current levels based on continued strong Talent growth (we think 30%+ this year), Marketing product enhancements (Bizo & sponsored content), & major opportunities in emerging businesses in Lynda.com & Sales Navigator." He also expects major cross-selling opportunities for "distributing Lynda's quality content across LNKD's enterprise reach (~35k enterprise clients)."
Tue, Jun. 2, 12:10 PM
- LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) is now up 6.2% over the last two days, aided by rumors of activists buying stakes. Carl Icahn's name has popped up along the way.
- Icahn, of course, has been rumored on multiple occasions to be taking a stake in Twitter. In each case, the rumors were shot down.
- Yesterday: LinkedIn higher amid activist rumor, bullish RBC note
Mon, Jun. 1, 2:08 PM
- An unconfirmed rumor (picked up by Briefing.com) that activist investors are taking stakes in LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) appears to be lifting shares.
- Also possibly helping: A bullish note from RBC's Mark Mahaney (Outperform, $275 target) that follows meetings with sales, content, and IR execs. Among other things, Mahaney reports LinkedIn: 1) Is "very confident that engagement is rising." 2) Sees an $8B-$15B/year market opportunity for its Sales Solutions (social selling) product. 3) Is upbeat about its ability to cross-sell Lynda.com's online learning offerings to 37K HR units within organizations. 4) Is (notably) "seeing a rebound in productivity trends" following a Q1 Talent Solutions salesforce reorg.
- LinkedIn is a month removed from plunging due to the Q2/2015 guidance provided with its Q1 beat. The outlook was blamed on the reorg, a strong dollar, soft ad sales, and the impact of piloting different approaches to cross-selling Lynda.com services. Many analysts defended the company afterwards.
Fri, May 1, 2:36 PM
- Not surprisingly, LinkedIn (LNKD -20.5%) has received plenty of target cuts in response to the soft guidance (blamed on a variety of factors) provided with its slight Q1 beat. But no downgrades have arrived, and many on the sell-side are defending the professional social networking leader.
- Canaccord's Michael Graham: "Most factors impacting revenue appear temporary (FX, marketing solutions product transition, Talent Solutions sales force shuffle, lynda.com), while a display [ad] revenue headwind seems more secular ... We are encouraged by rapid growth in Sales Solutions, and believe any material weakness in the stock will likely provide a good long-term entry point."
- Wunderlich's Blake Harper: "The company saw its display ad business, especially in Europe, decline due to a shift to programmatic buying, but we remain bullish on the company’s potential to become a differentiated B2B content marketing platform ... Key metrics such as number of members, mobile visitors, and corporate talent solution customers were all in line with expectations..."
- Morgan Stanley estimates only 25% of LinkedIn's 2015 EBITDA guidance cut is due to fundamentals. Goldman thinks management is once more being conservative with guidance.
- Brean's Sarah Hindlian, whose decision to launch coverage at Sell in March is looking smart right now: "Premium Subscriptions/Sales Navigator missed by 3% [in Q1] while management talked down Sales Navigator ramp on the call and was mum on new customer signings ... we think the company is scrambling to buy growth and the [salesforce] re-org is due to product fatigue."
- Eric Jackson observes an industry shift towards programmatic (automated) ad buys has hurt not only LinkedIn's ad sales, but also Yahoo and Yelp's. He thinks Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has been able to weather the storm thanks to its huge audience and targeting ability. "Facebook offers much more reach to advertisers. They're still willing to spend money elsewhere, but they won't pay up for it. If there are cheaper options available to them when they use programmatic, there's no reason for them not to use them." LinkedIn's unmatched professional data and favorable demographics could give it some room to differentiate in this landscape.
Fri, May 1, 12:45 PM
Fri, May 1, 9:13 AM
Thu, Apr. 30, 5:40 PM
Thu, Apr. 30, 5:00 PM
- In its Q1 CC prepared remarks (.pdf), LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) states its 2015 Market Solutions (ad) revenue will be hurt by "the continued migration to selling our new suite of products as well as more pronounced secular headwinds for traditional display-advertising." Twitter can sympathize.
- In addition, Talent Solutions (jobs) revenue saw "larger than normal Q1 [sales] account transitions" that increased churn and pushed out customer spending later into 2015, and will result in lower 2015 ratable revenue. The Marketing/Talent Solutions issues are expected to have a $30M 2015 revenue impact.
- Meanwhile, Lynda.com (about to be acquired) is expected to contribute $20M-$25M in 2015 revenue ($3M in Q2). However, LinkedIn expects a $15M impact (split between Lynda and Talent Solutions) from piloting different approaches to cross-selling products.
- As is the case for many peers, forex is also a big headwind: It's expected to have a $50M 2015 impact ($13M in Q2).
- Also: Heavy spending is impacting LinkedIn's bottom line: The company "significantly exceeded" its Q1 goals for engineering/operations hires, and also continues to rapidly grow its salesforce. GAAP costs/expenses rose 38% Y/Y to $655M.
- Talent Solutions revenue (62% of total revenue) rose 36% Y/Y in Q1; Marketing Solutions (19% of total) rose 38%, and premium subscriptions (19% of total) rose 28%. 39% of revenue was international. Talent Solutions accounts rose 35% Y/Y to nearly 35K.
- Shares have plunged to $191.88 AH.
- Earnings release, CC webcast, slides (.pdf)
- Earlier: LinkedIn beats estimates, but provides soft guidance
Thu, Apr. 30, 4:09 PM
- LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD): Q1 EPS of $0.57 beats by $0.01.
- Revenue of $637.7M (+34.8% Y/Y) beats by $1.22M.
- Expects Q2 revenue of $670M-$675M and EPS of $0.28, below a consensus of $717.5M and $0.74.
- Expects 2015 revenue of $2.9B and EPS of $1.90, below a consensus of $2.98B and $3.03.
- Shares -20.1% AH.
- Press Release
Fri, Apr. 10, 2:01 PM
- "There are natural synergies we see with a combination, both strategic and financial, and we see an easy fit within LinkedIn’s (NYSE:LNKD) business model," writes Topeka's Victor Anthony, praising the Lynda.com acquisition. He admits the purchase is expensive - with Lynda having posted 2014 revenue of ~$150M, LinkedIn is paying 10x trailing sales - but (like others) also sees "a compelling opportunity" for cross-selling.
- Macquarie's Tom White observes LinkedIn could offer premium subscriptions that bundle Lynda's courses, and that it can use its data to pitch users on Lynda services. Cantor's Youssef Squali calls the purchase "another significant step toward building the world’s first economic graph."
- Re/code's Kurt Wagner notes Lynda could help LinkedIn make further inroads with students, and that the companies' missions align. "LinkedIn aims to connect people with job opportunities. Lynda.com aims to connect people with an education about those jobs."
- Discussing the deal with Wired, CEO Jeff Weiner argues there's an opportunity to translate Lynda's material into Chinese and other languages. He also suggests the content could boost LinkedIn's user engagement (a historical issue for the company), and that LinkedIn could use its publishing platform to identify potential Lynda contributors.
- Shares are up 4.8% since the deal was announced, and about $12 away from a high of $276.18. Q1 results arrive on April 30.
Thu, Apr. 9, 9:36 AM
- Lynda.com provides thousands of online courses and video tutorials (often tied to learning software programs or Internet services) via subscriptions sold to individuals, businesses, and academic and government institutions, and in partnership with professional "authors."
- The company was founded in 1995, has over 500 employees, and and had 2013 revenue of $100M (+43% Y/Y) while turning a profit. Its courses cover fields ranging from core business skills to photography/video to IT training.
- LinkedIn (LNKD -1.2%) is buying Lynda.com for $1.5B - 52% in cash, 48% in stock. The deal is expected to close in Q2. "Most" of the company's employees will be joining LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner: "Lynda.com's extensive library of premium video content helps empower people to develop the skills needed to accelerate their careers. When integrated with the hundreds of millions of members and millions of jobs on LinkedIn, lynda.com can change the way in which people connect to opportunity."
- LinkedIn exec Ryan Roslansky: "Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, like Denver, and then to be prompted to take the relevant and accredited course to help you acquire this skill."
- Other recent LinkedIn acquisitions: Refresh (meeting preparation app), Careerify (recruiting software), Bizo (business ad services), Bright (analytics-driven job search engine/listingplatform)
Other News & PR