Jun. 4, 2014, 11:45 AM
- A new $10/month "Spotlight" subscription option ($8/month if billed annually) provides access to all of LinkedIn's (LNKD +0.6%) premium features ... save for the ability to message members a user isn't connected with. Business plan ($30/month) subs can send 3 messages/month, and Business Plus ($60/month) subs can send 10 messages/month.
- Along with the cheaper subscription option, LinkedIn is rolling out a slew of new features for premium subs. These include larger search listings (twice the size of free member listings), an "Open Profile" option that allows all members to see a user's full profile, and keyword suggestions for making a profile stand out.
- LinkedIn is also giving premium subs revamped, image-heavy, profile pages (echoes of Facebook's Timeline pages), but this feature will be rolled out to free subs in a few months.
- LinkedIn's subscription sales rose 46% Y/Y in Q1, and accounted for 20% of revenue. The update comes with shares down 39% from a high of $257.56, thanks to valuation and growth concerns.
May. 13, 2014, 5:05 PM
- Active usage has been slipping for Facebook (FB) and many other popular social networks, GlobalWebIndex reports in a new study -- though Facebook is still the worldwide king.
- Active usage of YouTube (GOOG, GOOGL) dropped 8% since Q3 2013, according to the report, with Facebook slipping 6%. Other usage decliners: LinkedIn (LNKD) fell 3%; Twitter's (TWTR) usage dropped 3%, and Google+ usage fell 1%.
- Going the other direction were a few robust gainers: Instagram counters its parent with a 25% growth in usage; Tumblr usage up 22%, and Pinterest usage up 7%.
May. 2, 2014, 3:44 PM
- LinkedIn (LNKD -7.5%) hasn't received any downgrades since offering light guidance with its Q1 beat, and has even caught an upgrade to Buy from UBS. Eight firms have cut their PTs, but it's worth noting many of those targets were set when shares were soundly above $200.
- UBS' Eric Sheridan asserts LinkedIn now offers "one of the best risk/rewards in our coverage universe," and notes it still has “a first mover (and sustainable) advantage as a social network for the professional community on a global scale.” His PT remains at $225.
- BMO calls Q1 "a non-event," and is upbeat about recently-acquired Bright's ability to help LinkedIn "better match employers to job seekers," and perhaps eventually connect salespeople to leads. FBN observes LinkedIn is usually conservative with its guidance, and that mobile now accounts for 43% of unique visitors.
- Raymond James remains positive on LinkedIn's potential, but also notes Talent Solutions customer adds (1,400) missed Street expectations, and considers shares "fairly valued" at 8x 2014E EV/sales. FBR (PT cut to $141 from $190) worries management comments point to slowing engagement and revenue growth.
- Q1 results, guidance/details, CC transcript
May. 1, 2014, 4:17 PM
- LinkedIn (LNKD) expects Q2 revenue of $500M-$505M, below a $505.1M consensus, and 2014 revenue of $2.06B-$2.08B, below a $2.11B consensus.
- The company expects Q2 adjusted EBITDA of $118M-$120M, up from Q1's $116.7M, which beat guidance of $106M-$108M. Full-year adjusted EBITDA guidance has been raised to $505M-$510M from $490M.
- Talent Solutions (jobs, 58% of revenue) revenue rose 50% Y/Y in Q1 after growing 53% in Q4. Marketing solutions (ads, 22% of revenue) rose 36% vs. 38% in Q4, and subscriptions (20% of revenue) rose 46% vs. 48%.
- The U.S. produced 60% of revenue vs. 61% in Q4. Costs/expenses rose 57% Y/Y (above rev. growth of 46%) to $474M on the back of big increases in sales/marketing and R&D spend.
- LNKD -1.9% AH. Some bad news has been priced in over the last few months.
- Q1 results, PR
May. 1, 2014, 4:08 PM
May. 1, 2014, 12:26 PM
- Yelp's Q1 report, which was accompanied by a full-year guidance hike and followed by a slew of upgrades, is helping fuel a major rally in high-beta Internet stocks that were pummeled over much of March and April.
- LinkedIn (LNKD +5.5%), which reports after the close and entered trading down 40% from a high of $257.56, is among the notable gainers. As are Twitter (TWTR +3.5%), crushed yesterday in response to its Q1 numbers and guidance, and Pandora (P +6.5%), hit hard last Friday due to the light Q2 guidance provided with a Q1 beat.
- Facebook (FB +3.5%), less damaged by the selloff than some peers, is posting solid gains as the Street gives a thumbs-up to yesterday's mobile ad network launch. "Facebook is essentially bringing the high advertising ROI and targeting precision it has perfected on its own app to the rest of the mobile web," proclaims Goldman, albeit while cautioning near-term sales will be limited.
- Netlifx (NFLX +5.5%), off 30% from its high going into trading in spite of a positive response to last week's Q1 beat and price hike announcement, is bouncing strongly.
- Other gainers: ZU +5.9%. TRLA +5.6% (rallied yesterday following earnings). PCLN +2.8%. EXPE +3.7%. MEET +4.3%. LIVE +9.9%. ANGI +3%.
Apr. 22, 2014, 1:16 PM
- Bloomberg reports LinkedIn (LNKD +1.3%) has agreed to fully lease an office tower under construction in San Francisco's SoMa district (home to many tech companies). The lease covers 450K sq. feet on 26 floors.
- Given current S.F. office real estate prices, the lease can't be cheap. Salesforce recently agreed to pay $560M over 15.5 years to lease 714K sq. feet of office space in a tower under construction.
- Q1 results arrive on May 1.
Apr. 9, 2014, 9:45 AM
- LinkedIn (LNKD +2.3%) and FireEye (FEYE +3%) have been upgraded to Buy by Topeka. The firm expects LinkedIn to post strong Q1 numbers and provide healthy guidance. FBN upgraded FireEye on Monday, and Wedbush on Tuesday.
- Yelp (YELP +3.3%) has been upgraded to Buy by CRT Capital. The local reviews leader has already received two other upgrades this week to go with a downgrade.
- Korea Telecom (KT +5.1%) has received a two-notch upgrade to Buy from BofA/Merrill.
Apr. 8, 2014, 4:00 PM
- Smart bargain hunting or catching a falling knife? After being bludgeoned almost ceaselessly over the last couple of weeks, many high-beta tech stocks are closing the day with sizable gains.
- The rebound comes on a day when hedge fund Coatue Management announced plans to return over $2B to investors following a 9% March decline caused by tech stock losses. It also comes as several tech giants, including Apple, Microsoft, H-P, and IBM, finish the day near breakeven, or with modest losses.
- Leading U.S. Internet gainers: LNKD +6.2%. P +6%. ZU +5%. SALE +7.2%. SSTK +6%. AOL +4.6%.
- Chinese Internet gainers: EJ +9.1%. WBAI +8.9%. QIHU +7.9%. ATHM +8.1%. YY +6.8%. SFUN +8.7%. GOMO +9.8%. Ctrip and Qunar were among the sector's biggest gainers following M&A rumors.
- Others: FSLR +7%. NMBL +6.2%. NPTN +5.9%. PANW +5.5%. EGHT +5.4%. RFMD +4.9%. QIWI +4.9%. CRUS +4.3%. RALY +5.5%.
Apr. 7, 2014, 5:36 PM
Feb. 26, 2014, 7:55 AM
- The stock being down 13% over the past six months vs. a 12% rise in the S&P creates a buying opportunity in LinkedIn (LNKD), says analyst Mark Mahaney, upping it to Outperform with price target lifted to $250.
- Working against the stock were overly aggressive Street estimates, a heavier-than-expected 2014 investment outloo, a greater-than-expected slowdown in Talent Solutions growth, and uncertainty over Marketing Solutions format changes, says Mahaney.
- "The first issue has been addressed – Street 14 EBITDA estimates have been reduced 11% since the beginning of this year. And we believe LNKD’s 14 investments – salesforce buildouts, product and market expansions, and acquisitions – are coming from a position of strength against large TAMs. Our very recent proprietary work helps address Drag Issues 3 & 4. Hence, the Upgrade..."
- Shares +2.4% premarket
Feb. 25, 2014, 8:14 AM
- LinkedIn (LNKD) is ahead by 2.6% in the premarket after moving forward in China with the opening of a beta Simplified Chinese language site. The company already has 4M Chinese users on its English version, and the Chinese site will broaden reach to 140M Chinese professional workers.
- Of course, operating in-country will draw more attention from Beijing's censors, but Wunderlich's Blake Harper thinks LinkedIn "has less to concede than many other western Internet companies, as its core mission and use case for professionals is in line with the government's initiatives for economic growth ... If all goes as planned, the company should see material member growth and engagement on the site throughout the year, but we would expect any impact with corporate customers to be further down the road."
Feb. 19, 2014, 10:27 AM
- ITG Research says it's encouraged by LinkedIn's (LNKD +3.3%) order volumes, and thinks its hiring solutions revenue (55% of total revenue in Q4) could beat Street expectations in Q1.
- ITG offered cautious remarks about LinkedIn in December, seven weeks before shares tumbled due to the soft guidance provided with a Q4 beat.
Feb. 7, 2014, 12:40 PM
- Unlike Twitter, LinkedIn (LNKD -7.3%) hasn't seen any downgrades after providing disappointing guidance and site traffic data to go with a Q4 beat. 13 firms have cut their PTs, but their targets all remain at $225 or higher. Meanwhile, SunTrust has upgraded shares to Buy.
- SunTrust's Robert Peck notes the midpoint of LinkedIn's 2014 revenue guidance range implies a 20% drop in revenue growth from 2013's 57% clip, a decline he considers "excessive" in light of the launch of new products such as sponsored news feed ads and Sales Navigator. LinkedIn has a long history of lowballing its revenue guidance.
- Morgan Stanley thinks LinkedIn's margins could be "flattish" in 2014, but also believes improving ad sales and the rollout of LinkedIn's sales products could yield revenue upside. In spite of the traffic data, Needham remains confident LinkedIn's investments in creating a "richer experience" for users will yield higher engagement.
- LinkedIn mentioned on its CC (transcript) unique visiting members rose 31% Y/Y in spite of the site traffic slump, thanks in part to mobile growth, and that member page views rose 40%.
- Corporate customers under contract rose 11% Q/Q and 49% Y/Y to over 24.5K; CFO Steven Sordello admits much of the new account growth now involves smaller clients, but adds ARPUs for larger clients are growing due to product cross-selling. To keep up its momentum, LinkedIn plans to grow its salesforce by over 30% in 2014.
- More on LinkedIn
Feb. 7, 2014, 9:10 AM
Feb. 6, 2014, 6:44 PM
- In addition to providing soft top-line guidance, LinkedIn (LNKD) has disclosed its site traffic fell Q/Q in Q4, according to comScore's numbers. Unique visitors dropped by 3M Q/Q to 139M (they rose 23M Y/Y), and page views fell by 1B to 10.6B (they rose by 800M Y/Y).
- Though comScore's data doesn't include mobile app traffic (growing rapidly, from all indications), it's fueling concerns LinkedIn's efforts to boost user engagement aren't going as planned. With only 25% of its revenue coming from ads, LinkedIn is less directly dependent on site/app traffic than Facebook and Twitter.
- The company continued to spend aggressively in Q4. Sales/marketing spend +57% Y/Y to $157.2M (35% of revenue), R&D +46% to $113.1M, G&A +66% to $64.8M.
- The U.S. accounted for 61% of revenue vs. 62% in Q3. Direct (online) sales made up 39% of revenue vs. 42% in Q3.
- Registered users rose by 18M Q/Q to 277M after growing by 21M in Q3.
- Shares -7.3% AH. Q4 results, guidance/details, slides.
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