Seeking Alpha

LinkedIn (LNKD)

  • Thu, Oct. 29, 7:53 PM
    • LinkedIn's (NYSE:LNKD) Talent Solutions unit saw revenue rise 46% Y/Y in Q3 to $502M. The core Hiring (jobs) segment grew 34% to $461M (up from 32% in Q2), while Learning & Development ( contributed $41M in its first full post-acquisition quarter. Hiring accounts are near 40K; they were above 37K at the end of Q2.
    • Marketing Solutions (ad) revenue rose 28% Y/Y to $140M, a slowdown from Q2's 32%. Sponsored update news feed ads (up over 100%) drove the growth, while premium display ads fell by a mid-30s %. Subscriptions revenue (premium memberships, Sales Navigator) rose 21% to $138M, after growing 22% in Q2.
    • Traffic metrics: Cumulative members rose 20% Y/Y to 396M at the end of Q3, and have since topped 400M. Unique visitors rose 11% to an average of 100M/month, and member page views rose 33% to 38B (20% growth in page views/unique visitor). Mobile now accounts for 55% of traffic. China now has 13M+ members, up over 3x from early 2014.
    • Financials: GAAP operating expenses rose 46% Y/Y to $816.3M. Op. margin (non-GAAP) was 18% vs. 13% in Q2 and 18% a year ago. Cost of revenue was 13% of revenue, sales/marketing spend 31%, R&D 19%, and G&A 12%. The U.S. was 62% of revenue, up from 60% a year ago. Forex had a 6% impact on revenue growth. Free cash flow was $73M, less than net income of $103M.
    • LNKD +12.4% after hours to $243.60.
    • Q3 results/Q4 guidance, PR, slides (.pdf), 10-Q filing
    | Thu, Oct. 29, 7:53 PM | 2 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 29, 4:05 PM
    • LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD): Q3 EPS of $0.78 beats by $0.32.
    • Revenue of $779.6M (+37.2% Y/Y) beats by $23.96M.
    • Expects Q4 revenue of $845M-$850M and EPS of $0.74, above a consensus of $845.9M and $0.67.
    • Shares +7.8% after hours.
    • Press Release, financial statements (.pdf)
    | Thu, Oct. 29, 4:05 PM | 14 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 28, 5:35 PM
  • Fri, Jul. 31, 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 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
    | Fri, Jul. 31, 7:52 PM | 6 Comments
  • Thu, Jul. 30, 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 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.
    | Thu, Jul. 30, 5:02 PM | 2 Comments
  • Thu, Jul. 30, 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.
    • Press Release
    • Update (5:03PM ET): LinkedIn has given back its gains. Shares are now down 0.4% AH.
    | Thu, Jul. 30, 4:08 PM | 21 Comments
  • Wed, Jul. 29, 5:35 PM
  • 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,, 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, 2:36 PM | 32 Comments
  • 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, (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, 5:00 PM | 11 Comments
  • 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
    | Thu, Apr. 30, 4:09 PM | 19 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 5, 5:48 PM
    • LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) is guiding for Q1 revenue of $618M-$622M (below a $645.7M consensus) and full-year revenue of $2.93B-$2.95B (in-line with a $2.94B consensus). However, the company has a long history of sandbagging sales guidance. Q1 EPS guidance of $0.53 is below a $0.55 consensus, but full-year EPS guidance of $2.95 is above a $2.73 consensus.
    • Q4 Talent Solutions revenue (jobs, 57% of total revenue) +41% Y/Y to $369M; Marketing Solutions (ads, 24% of revenue) +56% to $153M; Premium Subscriptions (19% of revenue) +38% to $121M. Marketing Solutions growth accelerated sharply from Q3's 45%. International was once more 40% of total revenue.
    • The deferred revenue balance rose 33% Y/Y to $522.3M. GAAP costs/expenses rose 44% to $629.3M; sales/marketing spend totaled $224.3M, and R&D $150.3M.
    • LNKD +7.8% AH to $256.60. The all-time high for regular trading (set in 2013) is $257.56.
    • Q4 results, PR
    | Thu, Feb. 5, 5:48 PM | 7 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 5, 4:18 PM
    • LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD): Q4 EPS of $0.61 beats by $0.08.
    • Revenue of $643M (+43.8% Y/Y) beats by $26.17M.
    • Shares +5.5%.
    • Press Release
    | Thu, Feb. 5, 4:18 PM | 3 Comments
  • Wed, Feb. 4, 5:35 PM
  • Oct. 31, 2014, 12:55 PM
    • LinkedIn's (NYSE:LNKD) Q3 beat more than offsets its light Q4 guidance, thinks FBR, one of several firms to hike its target today.
    • FBR likes LinkedIn's Q3 Talent Solutions customer adds - 2.2K vs. 1.7K a year ago - as well as user engagement trends, 14% Q/Q growth in sponsored news feed update ad sales (now 31% of Marketing Solutions revenue), and ongoing progress for Sales Navigator (now 25% of subscription revenue).
    • SunTrust expects a new Talent Solutions price hike to boost 2015 growth, and (like many others) considers Q4 guidance conservative. RBC takes note of LinkedIn's ARPU growth (5% Y/Y) and strong user metrics - registered members +28% Y/Y to 332M, monthly unique visitors +16% to 90M; member page views +28%.
    • Shares now +66% from a May low of $136.02.
    • Results/guidance, details.
    | Oct. 31, 2014, 12:55 PM | Comment!
  • Oct. 30, 2014, 4:25 PM
    • LinkedIn's (NYSE:LNKD) Talent Solutions revenue (jobs, 61% of total revenue) rose 45% Y/Y in Q3, after growing 49% in Q2. Marketing Solutions (ads, 19% of revenue) +45% vs. +44% in Q2. Subscriptions (20% of revenue) +43% vs. +44% in Q2.
    • The U.S. made up 60% of revenue, even with Q2 and Q1. Field sales channels accounted for 60% of sales, and online/direct channels 40%.
    • GAAP costs/expenses +44% Y/Y to $559.7M. Sales/marketing spend totaled $199.2M, R&D $136.5M, and G&A $89.3M.
    • LNKD now -1.2% AH. Investors might be remembering LinkedIn has a long history of lowballing guidance.
    • Results/guidance, PR
    | Oct. 30, 2014, 4:25 PM | Comment!
  • Oct. 30, 2014, 4:08 PM
    • LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD): Q3 EPS of $0.52 beats by $0.05.
    • Revenue of $568.3M (+45% Y/Y) beats by $10.8M.
    • Expects Q4 revenue of $600M-$605M and EPS of $0.49, below a consensus of $611.6M and $0.52.
    • Shares -6.1% AH.
    • Press Release
    | Oct. 30, 2014, 4:08 PM | 6 Comments
Company Description
LinkedIn Corp operates a social networking website used for professional networking. The Company's website allows members to post a profile of their professional expertise and accomplishments.