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Sep. 1, 2015, 11:09 AM
- Better late than never? LinkedIn (LNKD -1.5%) is finally abandoning the inbox-like interface for its messaging system (both for its site and apps) in favor of a chat-like UI that bears as a resemblance to Facebook Messenger, Twitter's Direct Messages, and many other Web/mobile messaging platforms.
- LinkedIn is also organizing messages by user, providing better push/e-mail notifications for new messages, and adding the ability to insert GIFs and emojis (in addition to photos and docs). The company adds it's thinking of adding voice and video call support, as well as developing "intelligent messaging assistants that can help suggest people you should message or provide you with relevant information about that person before you start a conversation."
- Developing services that motivate users to frequently visit LinkedIn's site and apps, rather than simply treat them as resume-sharing and rolodex-creating tools, has been a company priority for a while. Page views rose 37% Y/Y in Q2, easily surpassing unique visiting member growth of 16%.
Aug. 19, 2015, 1:58 PM
- Continuing a strategy of growing its mobile footprint and user engagement by launching many narrowly-focused apps - Facebook can relate - LinkedIn (LNKD +0.7%) has launched Lookup, a free app that aims to replace corporate office directories by letting users known to work for a particular company search for the contact and profile info of co-workers.
- Lookup project lead Ankit Gupta: "Most companies have some crappy directory service that either they’ve created themselves or they’re [paying for] ... People don’t really update their internal profiles. People don’t even add a photo. So they’re actually turning to LinkedIn [already].” He adds users searching on LinkedIn currently click on a colleague's profile 30% of the time.
- In addition to its core app, LinkedIn already offers apps for its Recruiter, Sales Navigator, Pulse (news reader), and SlideShare services, as well as apps for conducting job searches and reaching out to professional contacts. Mobile accounted for 52% of the company's Q2 traffic.
Jul. 31, 2015, 7:52 PM
- For the second quarter in a row, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) fell hard post-earnings. Evercore and Avondale Partners downgraded to neutral ratings, while various other firms defended the company.
- Evercore's Ken Sena notes LinkedIn's 2H15 sales (officially guided above consensus) were guided down if one excluded an accounting benefit related to the Lynda.com acquisition. "The reasons for the company’s more conservative outlook have mostly to do with limited visibility on its Marketing Solutions line, where it continues to make a transition away from higher-priced premium display to feed-based and more performance-based ads."
- Though Sena thinks the ad transition can be managed, he declares "the combination of another FY effective guide down, a steep deceleration in the company’s 2Q sequential user growth (measured on unique visitors), and margins showing compression (with and without Lynda) leads [Evercore] to move to the sidelines on shares." He also compared LinkedIn's ad challenges to Twitter's.
- BGC's Colin Gillis, on the other hand, considers ad concerns overblown in light of the strong performance of LinkedIn's Sponsored Updates ads. "[D]isplay advertising is approximately 3% of overall revenue, and in our view its low quality revenue ... The irony is that the marketing solutions business that contains display advertising is the only business segment that accelerated its growth in the June quarter, growing at 32% YoY compared to 24% growth in the June 2014 quarter."
- Jefferies' Brian Pitz also sees reasons to stay bullish. "The company is still early in large market opportunities, including Sales Navigator, Lead Accelerator, Bizo and Lynda ... The company saw dramatic improvements in Sales Navigator customer satisfaction as well as higher than expected customer renewal at the higher Sales Navigator prices implemented this year.”
- Q2 results/Q3 guidance, details, CC transcript
Jul. 31, 2015, 9:19 AM
Jul. 30, 2015, 5:02 PM
- Up big at first in response to its Q2 beat and above-consensus sales guidance, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) is now down 1% AH.
- Talent Solutions (62% of revenue) revenue rose 38% Y/Y in Q2 to $443M. However, sales within the core Hiring (jobs) segment rose 32% to $425.8M - as previously disclosed, a salesforce reorg has weighed on near-term sales. $17.6M in revenue was contributed by the Learning & Development segment, the product of the mid-May closing of the Lynda.com acquisition. Hiring accounts rose by over 2K Q/Q to over 37K.
- Marketing Solutions (ads, 20% of revenue) grew 32% to $142M, with Sponsored Updates ads accounting for 45% of revenue. Sponsored Updates revenue more than doubled, with 80% coming from mobile. On the other hand, display ad sales (under pressure at a number of companies) fell 30%. Premium subscription revenue (18% of revenue) rose 22% to $128M.
- GAAP costs/expenses rose 40% Y/Y to $792.9M. Thanks to forex and soft EMEA ad sales, international fell to 38% of revenue from 40% a year ago. Cumulative members rose by 16M Q/Q to 380M. Unique visiting members were flat Q/Q and up 16% Y/Y to 97M/month. Page views rose 37% Y/Y, with mobile accounting for 52% of traffic.
- Q2 results, PR
- Update (7:44PM ET): LinkedIn is now down 4.6% AH.
Jul. 30, 2015, 4:08 PM
- LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD): Q2 EPS of $0.55 beats by $0.25.
- Revenue of $711.7M (+33.3% Y/Y) beats by $31.9M.
- Expects Q3 revenue of $745M-$750M and EPS of $0.43 vs. a consensus of $743.7M and $0.43.
- Expects 2015 revenue of $2.94B and EPS of $2.19, above a consensus of $2.91B and $1.93.
- Shares +12.1% AH.
- Update (5:03PM ET): LinkedIn has given back its gains. Shares are now down 0.4% AH.
Jul. 29, 2015, 5:35 PM
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Jul. 27, 2015, 11:28 AM
- Noting LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) remains 44% more expensive than Facebook on a 2016E EV/EBITDA basis (in spite of being expected to grow 10% slower), Brean's Sarah Hindlian is reiterating a Sell ahead of the company's Thursday Q2 report.
- Hindlian, who launched coverage at Sell 6 weeks before LinkedIn plunged due to the guidance provided with its Q1 beat, also notes a 3% Q2 beat would still represent a 14% deceleration in growth from 2014 levels.
- Cantor's Youssef Squali is out with a more positive note today, forecasting LinkedIn's Talent Solutions ops (62% of Q1 revenue) will post 30% Y/Y growth as the business continues taking share from online job rivals. Marketing Solutions (pressured by industry display ad weakness) is expected to see 19.4% growth, and Premium Subscriptions 23.2% growth.
- LinkedIn has sold off amid a 0.6% drop for the Nasdaq. Shares are down 5% YTD.
Jul. 17, 2015, 11:22 AM
- Google is posting double-digit gains in response to its Q2 numbers and CC commentary. Fellow Internet large-caps Facebook (FB +4.7%), LinkedIn (LNKD +3.5%), and Priceline (PCLN +2.9%) are following Google higher. The Nasdaq is up 0.6%.
- Facebook, which reports on July 29, is now up 22% YTD, sports a $267B market cap, and trades for 11.6x a 2016 revenue consensus of $22.9B.
- LinkedIn reports on July 30, and is adding to the Wednesday gains seen following a Barclays upgrade. Shares go for 7.5x a 2016 revenue consensus of $3.82B.
- Priceline reports on Aug. 5. Shares go for 5.8x a 2016 revenue consensus of $10.86B.
Jul. 15, 2015, 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.
Jul. 9, 2015, 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.
Jun. 29, 2015, 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.
Jun. 26, 2015, 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.
Jun. 18, 2015, 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.
Jun. 3, 2015, 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)."
Jun. 2, 2015, 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
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