Mon, Mar. 16, 5:00 PM
- As part of a broader Internet/cloud software stock coverage launch, Brean's Sarah Hindlian (formerly with Evercore and JPMorgan) has started LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) with a Sell rating and $208 target.
- Hindlian thinks expectations for LinkedIn's Sales Navigator social selling platform (now a large % of subscription revenue) are too high, and that the "browsability" of its core site is lacking. "While we note that LinkedIn has a valuable asset — its database of global professionals and their respective networks - we fear attempts to monetize it could be more limited than investors may realize."
- She argues LinkedIn's aggressive efforts to boost engagement via its messaging platform (InMails), publishing platform, and other services are hurting the user experience, while failing to boost time spent on its site. "In the long term we are concerned that investors are comfortable comparing a sales user base to a talent recruitment base, noting that any successful loading of sales people onto LinkedIn is likely to significantly disrupt users, and therefore disrupt Ad Revenues."
- Her target translates to a 9x 2015E EV/sales multiple.
- LNKD -1.3% AH to $256.80.
- Earlier: LinkedIn buys Canadian recruiting software developer
Mon, Mar. 16, 2:34 PM
- LinkedIn (LNKD - unchanged) has acquired Careerify, a Toronto-based developer of recruiting software tools for businesses. Terms are undisclosed.
- Two of Careerify's products will be shuttered, but a referral product that helps companies find job candidates using their employees' social network contacts - it could complement LinkedIn's existing recruiting tools, which make heavy use of publicly-shared member data - will remain open to existing customers. No word yet on how LinkedIn exactly plans to leverage the product or its underlying technology.
- Careerify CEO Harpaul Sambhi: "We decided to join LinkedIn due to what we lacked – massive scale. More than 30,000 companies across the globe leverage LinkedIn for recruitment, and with more than 347 million members, LinkedIn offers an opportunity to make a much larger impact on job seeking and hiring."
- The purchase follows LinkedIn's 2014 acquisitions of business ad services firm Bizo (recently leverage to launch a new ad product) and job search engine/listing platform Bright.
Thu, Feb. 26, 10:07 AM
- As part of an Internet sector launch - it also includes Yelp, Expedia, and others - Morgan Stanley's Brian Nowak (formerly with Susquehanna) has launched coverage on LinkedIn (LNKD +2%) with an Overweight rating and $310 target.
- Nowak: "LNKD's earnings power is still underappreciated as our proprietary industry-level large enterprise analysis shows the Talent Solutions (TS) runway is still very long." He also declares LinkedIn's ad offerings (just expanded to cover 3rd-party sites) are "becoming the [Facebook] for professional advertising," and predicts additional top-line beats and margin expansion are on the way.
- Shares have made fresh highs. They're up 15% since LinkedIn posted a strong Q4 beat on Feb. 5.
Fri, Feb. 20, 5:37 PM
- LinkedIn Network Display, a new ad solution launched by the professional social networking giant, allows marketers to buy ads from LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) which are shown on 3rd-party sites, but which leverage LinkedIn's valuable profile data for targeting purposes.
- Advertisers can opt to target as few as 1K people, and be very specific about whom they're targeting - for example, a campaign could be run that only shows ads to software developers in the L.A. area.
- CNN and Weather.com are among the sites initially showing the ads, some of which could carry very high prices thanks to their focus on high-income demographic groups. The product has its roots in LinkedIn's $175M 2014 acquisition of business ad service provider Bizo.
- Facebook and Twitter have already begun using their user data to sell ads on 3rd-party sites/apps. LinkedIn is coming off a Q4 in which its ad sales (24% of total revenue) rose 56% Y/Y.
Fri, Feb. 6, 9:12 AM
Fri, Feb. 6, 8:04 AM
- Hiking his price target on the Buy-rated stock to $275 from $240, SunTrust's Robert Peck notes the easy earnings beat, guidance that's likely to prove conservative, continued strong growth in TAS, and Marketing Solutions outperformance.
- "We believe the most important takeaway from the call is management's level of enthusiasm and confidence in Sales Navigator heading into CY 15," says Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, reiterating his Overweight rating and hiking the price target to $297 from $282.
- Credit Suisse lifts its PT to $331 from $285, and Evercore ISI boosts to $290.
- BofA upgrades to Buy with $320 price target.
- LNKD +9.5% premarket
- Previously: LinkedIn soars to $256 on Q4 beat, ad growth pickup (Feb. 5)
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, 4:18 PM
Wed, Feb. 4, 5:35 PM
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Tue, Feb. 3, 7:27 AM
Fri, Jan. 23, 9:45 AM
- Raymond James has upgraded LinkedIn (LNKD +1.6%) to Strong Buy from Market Perform ahead of its Feb. 5 Q4 report, and set a $280 target.
- The professional social networking giant is $15 away from a high of $243.25. Shares go for 9x 2015E sales on an EV/sales basis. This year's revenue growth consensus is at 34%.
Wed, Jan. 14, 6:51 PM
- While Facebook rolls out an enterprise social networking platform to test partners, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) says it's prepping its own tools for connecting and sharing with co-workers.
- The products include a solution allowing users to send private messages (InMails) to co-workers even if they aren't connected, a product for sharing employee contact info, and an app for joining employee groups receiving specific content from an employer. However, unlike many existing business social networking solutions (as well as Facebook's), there won't be a chat service.
- Though widely used for professional networking and job hunting, LinkedIn isn't relied on nearly as much for communicating with co-workers - a use case that's more likely to involve active daily/weekly engagement. Boosting low engagement rates has been a LinkedIn priority for some time.
Wed, Jan. 14, 10:17 AM
- Facebook at Work, first reported on by the FT in November, has been made available via app stores to select enterprise test partners. The platform looks a lot like standard Facebook (FB +0.4%) - it contains a news feed, messaging tools, and groups - and lets users log in with their regular Facebook accounts. But a user's professional data is completely split off from his/her personal data, and Facebook won't collect any of it.
- Moreover, unlike LinkedIn (LNKD +0.1%), Facebook at Work is only focused (for now) on connecting with co-workers, thus arguably making it more of a rival to Jive Software (JIVE -0.3%), Salesforce's Chatter platform, and Microsoft's Yammer. LinkedIn and Jive both sold off following the November FT report.
- With no ads being sold, corporate subscriptions are a potential revenue stream. Facebook can count on its giant, highly engaged user base to drive interest in Work. At the same time, it has to contend with corporate wariness towards Facebook, historically viewed by many of them as a productivity-killer.
- Separately, Oppenheimer and Credit Suisse have respectively hiked their Facebook targets to $100 and $102. Oppenheimer expects a strong Q4 report on Jan. 28. "Checks suggest 4Q pricing +14% q/q and +21% y/y, with same-client spending +32% q/q and 33% y/y ... Organic reach is becoming more difficult, due to competition for newsfeed impressions ... We also see upside from increased video adoption."
- Credit Suisse cites the potential of Facebook's mobile ad network, and argues "Street models are too conservative and underestimate the long-term monetization potential of upcoming new products."
Dec. 18, 2014, 11:30 AM
- Wells Fargo has launched coverage on LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) with an Outperform rating and $260-$270 valuation range.
- The firm forecasts LinkedIn will post a 31% revenue CAGR from 2014-2016, and see its adjusted EBITDA margin rise to 28.4% in 2016 from 26.3% in 2014.
- The professional social networking leader is up 68% from a May low of $136.02. Shares go for 9.6x 2015E sales.
Nov. 17, 2014, 11:09 AM
- LinkedIn (LNKD -4%) is seeing profit-taking after the FT reported Facebook (FB -0.7%) is planning to launch a business-focused version of its core service that will support separate work accounts and feature collaboration tools. Enterprise social networking software vendor Jive (JIVE -5.9%) is also selling of.
- Salesforce (CRM -1.5%), whose Chatter business social networking platform has seen strong growth, is off moderately. The Nasdaq is down 0.4%.
- Facebook's service will be able to lean on the company's 1.35B-strong active user base, as well as its very high Web and mobile app engagement rates (much higher than LinkedIn's).
- At the same time, the offering will have to contend with corporate wariness towards Facebook (due to Facebook's historical consumer focus and reputation as a productivity-killer), as well as LinkedIn's established base of professional accounts (332M at the end of Q3) and the popularity of business social networking tools from the likes of Jive, Salesforce, Microsoft, and IBM.
Nov. 17, 2014, 2:09 AM
- Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is developing a new website called "Facebook at Work" that will allow users to keep their personal profile separate from their work profile, FT reports.
- The new site will look very much like Facebook, with a newsfeed and groups, and will allow users to chat with colleagues, connect with professional contacts and collaborate over documents - a clear threat to rival LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD).
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