Feb. 6, 2014, 5:44 PM
Feb. 6, 2014, 4:20 PM
- Though LinkedIn (LNKD) once again beat estimates, the company is guiding for Q1 revenue of $455M-$460M and 2014 revenue of $2.02B-$2.05B, below consensus forecasts of $470.3M and $2.16B. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to total $106M-$108M in Q1, and to grow to $490M in 2014 from a 2013 level of $111.4M.
- In tandem with its results, LinkedIn has announced it's acquiring Bright, provider of a job search engine/listing platform that leverages proprietary analytics technology to help employers find and screen candidates. The purchase price is $120M (73% stock, 27% cash).
- LinkedIn says it will use Bright's "data-driven matching technology, machine-learning algorithms and domain expertise" to help build out its own "economic graph" of workers and job opportunities (previous).
- LinkedIn's Talent Solutions (jobs) growth moderated a bit in Q4, rising 53% Y/Y vs. 62% in Q3. Likewise, subscription revenue growth fell to 48% vs. 61% in Q3. Ad sales, pressured in 2013 by the sponsored news feed ad transition, rose 38% vs. 36% in Q3.
- Talent Solutions made up 55% of revenue, subscriptions 20%, ads 25%.
- LNKD -11.3% AH. Q4 results, PR.
Feb. 6, 2014, 4:05 PM
Feb. 6, 2014, 12:10 AM| 4 Comments
Feb. 5, 2014, 6:13 PM
- Facebook (FB) is down 2.3% AH, and LinkedIn (LNKD) is down 1.6%, after Twitter and Pandora provided disappointing Q4 reports. In addition, Twitter shareholder GSV Capital (GSVC) is down 6.7%.
- Richly-valued Twitter beat Q4 estimates and provided above-consensus revenue guidance. But it also reported a 7% Q/Q drop in Timeline views and slowing monthly active user growth. Pandora beat Q4 EPS estimates, but only reported in-line revenue and issued below-consensus guidance.
- LinkedIn reports after the close tomorrow.
Feb. 5, 2014, 5:35 PM| 2 Comments
Jan. 29, 2014, 4:48 PM
- Several high-flying Internet stocks are getting a lift from Facebook's big Q4 beat, which was accompanied by news the social networking giant's mobile ad sales rose ~4x Y/Y and now account for over half of its ad sales.
- TWTR +4.1% AH. LNKD +2.6%. YELP +2.2%. Z +2%. GRPN +1.6%. SINA +0.7%.
- Google reports tomorrow. Twitter and Yelp are due up on Feb. 5, and LinkedIn on Feb. 6.
Jan. 27, 2014, 12:44 PM
- U.S. and Chinese Internet stocks are adding to last week's big losses, as investors continue taking profits following major 2013 gains. Chinese stocks were hit last week by an emerging markets selloff, weak PMI data, and an SEC ban (pending appeal) on audits from the Chinese units of big-4 U.S. accounting firms.
- Twitter (TWTR -8.2%), the company bears are most likely to point to when arguing a new Internet stock bubble has formed, is headlining the U.S. decliners. Shares are still up 25% from their post-IPO opening trade of $45.10.
- Other U.S. decliners: GOOG -3.1%. FB -2.9%. YELP -5.3%. Z -5.1%. LNKD -4.3%. P -3.2%. ANGI -4.1%. ZNGA -3.1%. GRPN -3.1%.
- Chinese decliners: BIDU -2.9%. CCIH -19%. BITA -14.6%. CTRP -7.4%. NQ -7.9%. LONG -9.4%. DANG -7.3%. SOHU -4.3%. GOMO -5.8%. SINA -3.3%. QUNR -7.7%. SFUN -5.4%. WBAI -7.5%. RENN -5%.
- Internet/social media ETFs: FDN, PNQI, SOCL
Jan. 16, 2014, 11:07 AM
- LinkedIn (LNKD +4.7%) has hired Derek Shen, previously the CEO of Chinese group-buying site Nuomi (now controlled by Baidu), to be the head of its Chinese unit (a newly-created role). Shen will be based out of Beijing.
- The hiring is widely being taken as a sign LinkedIn, whose services (unlike Facebook and Twitter's) aren't blocked in China, will soon be launching a Chinese site. The company currently has an office in Hong Kong, but not on the mainland.
- Several LinkedIn clones already exist in the Middle Kingdom, but none have taken off the way LinkedIn has in the U.S. and certain international markets. Government agency CNNIC estimates China had 617.6M Internet users at the end of 2013, and 500.1M mobile Internet users. Just 4M of LinkedIn's 259M registered users are currently in China.
- Shares are now up 14% from the near-term bottom they set on Jan. 7, following a BofA/Merrill downgrade.
Jan. 9, 2014, 1:50 PM
- Cowen's John Blackledge is the latest analyst to issue a bearish opinion on Twitter (TWTR -4.9%), starting coverage with an Underperform and $32 PT. After opening higher, shares are adding to their recent losses, and are now down 17% on the week.
- Blackledge (unsurprisingly) takes aim at Twitter's valuation, and also reports a survey of 50 ad buyers suggests Twitter's ad ROI is worse than Facebook (FB -1.7%) and LinkedIn's (LNKD +2.3%). ~60% of respondents claimed Facebook delivered the best ad ROI, ~25% said LinkedIn did so, and only ~5% picked Twitter.
- RBC offered a more upbeat take last month, stating 40% of polled Twitter advertisers have seen improved ROIs over the prior six months, and that a similar number have increased their Twitter spend.
- Much like Facebook in 2012/early 2013, Twitter has been busy rolling out a barrage of new ad products, as it works to provide better targeting and improve its ad revenue per 1K timeline views from a Q3 level of just $0.97 ($2.58 in the U.S., $0.36 internationally).
- Cantor and Morgan Stanley have already cut shares to Sell this week, with each naming valuation among its reasons for being bearish.
Jan. 7, 2014, 9:55 AM
- LinkedIn (LNKD -1.5%) has been cut to Neutral by BofA/Merrill. Other sell-side firms have aired cautious notes in recent weeks.
- Workday (WDAY +2.9%) has been upgraded to Buy by UBS.
- Glu Mobile (GLUU +4.1%) has been upgraded to Buy by Craig-Hallum.
- IGT (IGT -0.8%) has been cut to Hold by Argus.
- STMicroelectronics (STM -2.7%) has been cut to Underweight by Barclays.
- 8x8 (EGHT +2.2%) has been started at Buy by Needham.
- Nimble Storage (NMBL +1%) has received three bullish ratings and three neutral ones on underwriter coverage day.
Jan. 2, 2014, 10:06 AM
- Citi's tracking data leads it to think LinkedIn (LNKD -3.4%) will at best provide in-line results and guidance when it delivers its Q4 report (likely later this month).
- ITG Research offered a cautious view on LinkedIn's Q4 two weeks ago. The company's ad business (23% of Q3 revenue) has been seeing relatively slow growth, something generally blamed on a transition to news feed ads (a shift towards mobile viewing could also be playing a role). But LinkedIn's jobs/recruiting and premium subscription businesses have continued to post 60%+ growth.
Dec. 31, 2013, 6:54 PM
- Teen engagement worries or not, Facebook (FB) is still the unquestioned colossus of the U.S. social media scene. A Pew survey (.pdf) of 6,010 Americans found 71% claiming to use Facebook, up from 67% in 2012. That compares with 22% for LinkedIn (LNKD - up from 20%), 21% for Pinterest (up from 15%), 18% for Twitter (TWTR - up from 16%), and 17% for Facebook-owned Instagram (up from 13%).
- Facebook's success at reeling in older users has helped it continue growing: 45% of respondents age 65 or older said they use Facebook, up from 35% a year ago. 63% of users say they check in daily, and 22% weekly.
- Unsurprisingly, Twitter and Instagram's user bases skew young: 31% and 37% of respondents in the age 18-29 demographic respectively use Twitter and Instagram, compared with 9% and 6% in the 50-64 demographic. 46% of Twitter users say they check in daily, a level notably below Facebook's 63% and Instagram's 57%.
- A mere 13% of LinkedIn users claim to check in daily, evidence the company's efforts to boost engagement need more work. But the platform is used by 38% of respondents making over $75K, and 27% of all employed respondents. LinkedIn's recruiting and ad clients will be happy to know that.
- North America accounted for only 17% of Facebook's Q3 MAUs, but produced 48% of its Q3 revenue. The U.S. accounted for 74% of Twitter's Q3 revenue, and 62% of LinkedIn's.
Dec. 24, 2013, 2:13 PM
- With LinkedIn (LNKD +0.1%) now in possession of 250M+ user profiles that amount to partially or fully-completed resumes, the company is setting its sights on analyzing and mapping patterns within its user data to give employers more advanced tools for finding the right candidates.
- LinkedIn exec Dan Shapiro says a pending product will rely on algorithms to uncover important patterns in hiring activity to spot valuable candidates, much the same way Google's PageRank search algorithm relies on links between sites to determine useful search results. "We are due a complete increase in the sophistication of the talent marketplace like we saw in the financial marketplace 50 years ago."
- Over the long run, LinkedIn's plans for its data could extend even further. CEO Jeff Weiner has said LinkedIn wants to "develop the world’s first economic graph," and thereby "map the global economy and and every economic opportunity in the world."
- LinkedIn's Talent Solutions business accounted for 57% of the company's Q3 revenue; sales rose 69% Y/Y during the quarter.
Dec. 18, 2013, 10:51 AM
- ITG Research, which only last month reported LinkedIn's (LNKD -5.2%) Q4 was tracking well above consensus, now says checks indicate the business social networking leader has seen "unexpected deceleration in order volume."
- LinkedIn has already provided subdued guidance the last two quarters. Though the company's recruiting/jobs and subscription sales have remained strong, its ad sales have been pressured by a transition to selling news feed ads.
- Shares are still up 85% YTD, but down 18% from their September 12 high.
Dec. 10, 2013, 1:34 PM
- Though still generally below their mid-October highs, Internet momentum stocks are turning in what might be their best performance during a rally that has now lasted two weeks. While Twitter (previous) is the star of the show, Facebook (FB +3.5%), Yelp (YELP +1.8%), Groupon (GRPN +4.7%), Netflix (NFLX +2.1%), LinkedIn (LNKD +1.4%), and Pandora (P +3.4%) aren't getting left out.
- Several Chinese Internet names are also higher. In addition to Baidu, which is benefiting from a bullish Pac Crest note, Sina (SINA +6%), Ctrip (CTRP +6.1%), Qunar (QUNR +6.3%), and Youku (YOKU +3.9%) are staring at big gains.
- Morgan Stanley's Scott Devitt is out with another bullish note on Groupon. Devitt notes an MS survey of 358 SMBs found only 26% of merchants have run Groupon deals in the last 12 months, something he thinks suggests there's "a long run way of merchants" that can still be signed up.
- He also sees room for Groupon to improve its customer targeting - the company still isn't able to track which deals were shown to customers, or were clicked on, in prior e-mails - and expects its new site (allows deals to be browsed without an e-mail address being given) and a revamped e-mail layout to boost growth.
LNKD vs. ETF Alternatives
Other News & PR