Aug. 1, 2014, 1:11 PM
- "We believe the long-term trajectory of existing businesses and the opportunity represented by emerging businesses like Sales Navigator ... remain among the strongest in Internet," writes Goldman, reiterating a Buy on LinkedIn (LNKD +9%) and upping its target by $20 to $250.
- The firm sees jobs and product sales benefiting from mobile and native ad growth, and thinks strong growth justifies a steep valuation of 21x 2015E EV/EBITDA.
- 4 other firms have also hiked their LinkedIn PTs. Among them is SunTrust (PT raised to $240), which declares LinkedIn "uniquely positioned to create a [cloud app platform] for professionals." The company just rolled out a standalone version of its Sales Navigator product (has a separate login) that adds a number of features requested by sales pros.
- Many analysts are pleased LinkedIn added 2.2K+ Talent Solutions accounts in Q2, up from Q1's disappointing 1.4K and bringing the total base to 28.1K. Also going over well: Cumulative members rose 6% Q/Q and 32% Y/Y to 313M. On the other hand, unique logged-in visitors only rose 3% Q/Q and 13% Y/Y to 84M; total unique visitor count is at 186M (per comScore).
- Q2 results, guidance/details
Aug. 1, 2014, 9:15 AM
Jul. 31, 2014, 5:47 PM
Jul. 31, 2014, 4:19 PM
- LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) expects Q3 revenue of $543M-$547M and EPS of $0.44, above a consensus of $540.9M and $0.40. Full-year guidance is for revenue of $2.14B-$2.15B and EPS of $1.80, above a consensus of $2.13B and $1.64. The company has a history of guiding conservatively.
- Marketing Solutions (ad sales, 20% of revenue) growth accelerated to 44% Y/Y in Q2 from 36% in Q1, and helped drive the Q2 beat. Growth had been pressured in prior quarters by a transition to sponsored news feed ads.
- Talent Solutions (jobs, 60% of revenue) +49% vs. +50% in Q1. Subscriptions (20% of revenue) +44% vs. +46% in Q1. The U.S. was 60% of revenue, same as Q1.
- Likely helping ad sales: Traffic to posts from publishers and "influencers" has more than doubled since February, when a new publishing platform was launched. LinkedIn, whose engagement is lighter than that of most other popular social networks, says the platform is now producing 30K+ long-form posts per week.
- Total GAAP costs/expenses +46% Y/Y to $519.8M. Sales/marketing +51% to $184.5M, R&D +35% to $128.7M.
- Q2 results, PR
Jul. 31, 2014, 4:08 PM
Jul. 30, 2014, 5:35 PM
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Jul. 29, 2014, 4:37 PM
- Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) +0.9% AH, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) +2.1% AH, YELP +2.7%, and Twitter shareholder GSV Capital (NASDAQ:GSVC) +4.8% after Twitter skyrockets AH thanks to a big Q2 beat (moreso on revenue than EPS), strong Q3 guidance, and better-than-expected MAU growth.
- Yelp is due tomorrow, LinkedIn on Thursday, and GSV on Aug. 7. Facebook posted strong Q2 numbers of its own last week.
Jul. 22, 2014, 7:12 PM
- LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) is acquiring Bizo, a provider of display/social ad services for marketers looking to target businesses. 10% of the $175M purchase price will be paid for in stock, and the rest in cash.
- LinkedIn praises Bizo's data management and targeting tech for enabling "precise and measurable multi-channel marketing programs" aimed at business prospects. The company's service offerings already include LinkedIn ad solutions (.pdf) that support targeting based on professional data. Bizo's ad platform will be integrated with LinkedIn's content marketing tools.
- LinkedIn's ad sales rose 36% Y/Y in Q1, less than total revenue growth of 46%. Ad growth has been pressured a bit by a transition to sponsored news feed ads.
- In January, LinkedIn announced it's buying job search engine/listing platform Bright for $120M. Q2 results are due on July 31.
Jul. 14, 2014, 11:43 AM
- LinkedIn (LNKD +3.1%) has bought Newsle, provider of a service that alerts users when contacts have been mentioned somewhere on the Web. Terms are undisclosed.
- "LinkedIn and Newsle share a common goal: We both want to provide professional insights that make you better at what you do," LinkedIn declares. Much like job search engine/listing platform Bright (acquired in February), Newsle relies on natural-language processing and machine-learning algorithms to weed out useful/relevant information.
- The purchase is the latest in a string of moves meant to improve relatively low user engagement rates. Last year, LinkedIn bought (and proceeded to integrate) mobile reader app Pulse, and added the ability to embed rich media within news feed posts.
- More recently, LinkedIn overhauled its Contacts app (now known as Connected) to emphasize news feed updates and encourage user interactions.
- Q2 results arrive on July 31. Shares are rallying on a good day for tech.
Jul. 8, 2014, 12:45 PM
- Echoes of April: Following a big May/June rally that propelled the Nasdaq to new post-Dot.com bubble highs, momentum stocks are nosediving nearly across the board today.
- The selloff comes ahead of Alcoa's afternoon Q2 report, the unofficial start of earnings season. Some of the cash going out of equities is flowing into Treasurys.
- Notable 6%+ decliners: TWTR -7.6%. DDD -6.5%. SSYS -7.9%. P -7.7%. LNKD -7.1%. DATA -10.1%. SPLK -9.3%. WDAY -7.7%. YELP -8.3%. GOGO -6.5%. YOKU -6.6%. ZU -10.5%. NOW -6.8%.
Jun. 19, 2014, 7:00 PM
- LinkedIn Job Search aims to give job-hunters a better, more streamlined experience than LinkedIn's (LNKD) core mobile apps. Customizable search options and recommended listings are part of the feature set.
- The company claims over 40% of its users "are currently using mobile to look at jobs on LinkedIn." 58% of LinkedIn's Q1 revenue came from its Talent Solutions business.
- Job Search joins a broader trend among Internet giants to offer an array of apps optimized for specific services, both to improve the user experience and (hopefully) have more than one icon on a user's homescreen. Facebook has been especially aggressive here.
- The app is only available in the U.S. iOS App Store for now. Android and international markets should be supported in time.
Jun. 17, 2014, 9:40 AM| 1 Comment
Jun. 13, 2014, 4:30 AM
- LinkedIn (LNKD) is facing a lawsuit which claims it violated customers’ privacy rights for marketing purposes. The company is accused of accessing users' external e-mail accounts and downloading contacts’ addresses though the users e-mail address provided when signing up to the site.
- LinkedIn customers can now pursue damages for revenue it made from using the e-mail address books.
- The lawsuit calls into question how wiretap laws enacted before the Internet apply to data generated when people send e-mails and surf online.
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
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