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LinkedIn (LNKD)

  • 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.
  • Dec. 9, 2013, 4:56 AM
    • Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT) are among eight technology giants that have started a campaign to limit government online surveillance. The other companies are Apple (AAPL), Yahoo (YHOO), Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), AOL (AOL) and LinkedIn (LNKD).
    • The move appears to represent an attempt by the companies to prevent a loss of business because of Edward Snowden's revelations about the scope of the National Security Agency's spying campaign. Forrester estimates that the disclosures could cost the U.S. cloud computing industry $180B by 2016.
    • While the firms want limits on governmental authority to collect user information, as well as increased oversight, given the tech industry's own data practices, some might say that there's more than a whiff of the pots calling the kettles black.
  • Dec. 6, 2013, 7:14 AM
    • "Management has discussed [the China launch] previously, and we learned from a separate NDR with MDC Partners that one of their agencies has been hired to begin a public relations outreach for LinkedIn (LNKD) in China," says analyst Daniel Salmon, upping the stock to a Buy with $235 price target. "We assume a formal launch in 2014, with monetization beginning to ramp in 2015."
    • Salmon's team also likes LinkedIn's increasing focus on salespeople (LinkedIn believes there are 6x as many in sales on the platform as there are HR personnel), with a stand-alone product expected to ramp in 2015.
    • "We also expect the hiring of Penry Price to lead ad sales to improve the relationship with the agency community; some ad products will likely be culled and a continued heavy focus on Sponsored Updates is expected."
    • Shares +1.6% premarket
  • Nov. 15, 2013, 10:37 AM
    • Stifel's LinkedIn (LNKD +4.6%) PT represents a 29% premium to where shares currently trade, and a 161% premium to where they traded to start the year. It also equals a valuation of $33.6B, or 135x consensus 2014 EPS.
    • Analyst Michael Purcell gushes with praise for the professional social network, declaring it's "evolving into a critical daily or weekly platform for professional workers of all types," and will "remain pivotal in the increasingly complex forces of global business expansion and labor."
    • Sell-side commentary on LinkedIn has been quite bullish lately. ITG Research recently reported LinkedIn's Q4 was tracking above consensus, and Needham has reiterated a Buy and $280 PT following an upbeat investor meeting with CFO Steve Sordello.
    • Among other things, Needham is upbeat about LinkedIn's Sales Navigator social selling tool (just beginning to ramp), and notes management sees many HR opportunities, including training and performance management.
    • Needham: "The holy grail is to recruit, train and measure the effectiveness of employees all through one platform." Such an offering could put LinkedIn into competition with a variety of cloud HR software firms, such as Workday, Ultimate Software, and Cornerstone OnDemand.
  • Nov. 13, 2013, 3:49 PM
    • Six days after dropping in the face of Twitter's strong debut, high-flying Internet names are rallying in the wake of Chinese microblogging leader Sina's Q3 beat and strong Q4 guidance.
    • The day has also seen a dismal IPO from online textbook rental leader Chegg, a WSJ report of a rejected $3B+ Facebook offer for Snapchat, and a vague afternoon rumor about M&A interest in Trulia from Realogy.
    • U.S. standouts: ZNGA +7.4%. LNKD +4.8%. P +3.3%. ANGI +2.6%. GSVC +4.1% (owns a Chegg stake).
    • Chinese standouts: QIHU +8.9%. SFUN +7.5%. LITB +6.4%. YY +6.9%. CYOU +6.3%. QUNR +5.7%. CTRP +3.7%.
    • Baidu (BIDU +1.4%) is up moderately following news Chinese online video rivals Sohu (SOHU +1.7%) and Youku (YOKU +3%) have joined the MPAA and various entertainment/media companies in suing it for piracy. The assorted parties accuse Baidu of enabling piracy through its video search engine, as well as through video player apps and a TV dongle.
    • The suit comes as Baidu ramps its content spending for its iQiyi and PPS video sites.
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  • Nov. 7, 2013, 11:48 AM
    • Even as Twitter blasts off to a $25B valuation following its much-hyped IPO, U.S. and foreign Internet stocks are giving back some more of the massive 2013 gains that have led many names to trade at steep multiples.
    • One sign investors in this space are in a profit-taking mood: Zillow (Z -4.3%) and YY both sold off yesterday in spite of delivering Q3 beats (I, II) and above-consensus guidance; Zillow is adding to its losses today. Likewise, SouFun (SFUN -5.4%) has turned negative after providing a Q3 beat and strong guidance.
    • Notable U.S. decliners: FB -2.4%. LNKD -2.8%. GRPN -4.7% (reports after the close). ZNGA -2.7%. P -3.8%. TRLA -5.4%.
    • Notable foreign decliners: BIDU -2.4%. QIHU -6.7%. SINA -5% (generally viewed as the Chinese Twitter). DANG -6.2%. VIPS -7.7%. RENN -4.2%. AMAP -4.7%. CTRP -5.7%. YOKU -5.6%. RENN -4.2%. YNDX -5.1%. MELI -2.4% (plunged yesterday thanks to a Q3 miss). SIFY -2.6%.
    • Internet/social media ETFs: FDN, PNQI, SOCL
  • Oct. 29, 2013, 4:45 PM
    • LinkedIn's (LNKD) Talent Solutions (jobs) revenue rose 62% Y/Y in Q3 after rising 69% in Q2, and now makes up 57% of revenue. Subscription sales (20% of revenue) were also healthy, growing 61% after rising 68% in Q2.
    • Marketing Solutions (ads, 23% of revenue) remain a relative laggard thanks to the transition to news feed ads: sales grew 38% Y/Y after rising 36% in Q2. Though no explanation is given in the PR for LinkedIn's below-consensus Q4 guidance, ads were blamed for the company's light Q3 guidance in July.
    • U.S. sales made up 62% of revenue, unchanged Q/Q. EMEA was 23%, Asia-Pac 8%, and the rest of the world 7%. Much like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn's international monetization continues to notably trail its U.S. monetization on a per-user basis.
    • Registered users +9% Q/Q and +39% Y/Y to 259M. ComScore estimates PC unique visitors and page views respectively fell by 1M and 100M Q/Q to 142M and 11.6B (after factoring mobile, total growth was almost certainly positive).
    • LinkedIn continues to spend aggressively: sales/marketing spend +60% Y/Y to $133.2M, R&D +46% to to $106.2M, G&A +86% to $61.8M. Nonetheless, LinkedIn now expects 2013 adjusted EBITDA of $364M, above prior guidance of $340M-$355M.
    • Shares -3.2% AH. Q3 results, PR, slides.
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  • Oct. 29, 2013, 4:09 PM
    • LinkedIn (LNKD): Q3 EPS of $0.39 beats by $0.07.
    • Revenue of $393M (+56% Y/Y) beats by $7.6M.
    • Expects Q4 revenue of $415M-$420M, below a $438.1M consensus.
    • Shares -4.4% AH. CC at 5PM ET. (PR)
  • Oct. 29, 2013, 12:10 AM
  • Oct. 28, 2013, 5:35 PM
  • Oct. 23, 2013, 1:34 PM
    • Mobile now accounts for 38% of LinkedIn's (LNKD -1.2%) unique visits, up from 33% in Q2 and just 8% in Q1 2011, CEO Jeff Weiner discloses at a company event. He adds mobile's visit share is expected to top 50% next year, and that mobile users are 2.5x as active as PC users; LinkedIn has historically seen much lower average PC engagement than Facebook or Twitter.
    • Weiner also declares once again LinkedIn's long-term goal is to use its massive base of professional/business data to "develop the world’s first economic graph," one that will "map the global economy and and every economic opportunity in the world, either part-time or full-time."
    • Also: LinkedIn has unveiled Intro, a product that automatically provides iOS Mail app users with LinkedIn profile info for e-mail contacts. Intro works with Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and other e-mail services.
    • LinkedIn's event comes on a day when its site has been experiencing service outages. In June, LinkedIn saw an outage attributed to a "DNS issue."
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  • Oct. 22, 2013, 3:54 PM
    • After opening higher in sympathy with Netflix, high-flying U.S. and Chinese Internet stocks are closing lower in sympathy with the streaming giant, which is down 8.2% after trading up over 10% AH yesterday in response to its Q3 numbers.
    • In addition to Groupon, which has been stung by an ITG Research note, U.S. decliners include Facebook (FB -1.9%), LinkedIn (LNKD -1.7%), Yelp (YELP -2.3%), Zillow (Z -2.5%), and Trulia (TRLA -1%).
    • Chinese decliners include Baidu (BIDU -1.6%), Sina (SINA -2.9%), Qihoo (QIHU -3%), Ctrip (CTRP -2.1%), and NQ Mobile (NQ -3.5%).
    • Chinese e-commerce plays Vipshop (VIPS -3.7%) and LightInTheBox (LITB -4.9%) are also lower. In addition to the general selloff, they appear to be getting hurt by Dangdang's Q3 warning.
  • Oct. 19, 2013, 3:40 PM
    • "I do worry a little bit that we're beginning to hear things that are reminiscent of the 1999-2000 period—the number of hits, the number of eyeballs," says UBS' Art Cashin, suggesting a new tech bubble is afoot.
    • Cashin doesn't claim all tech names are taking part - many large-caps still go for less than 15x trailing EPS and 3x sales - just some of those with strong cloud and/or mobile exposure. "We're beginning to see a case of old tech/new tech."
    • Though using P/Es to value growth-stage tech firms can be tricky, given how near-term earnings are often depressed by big investments, a look at price/sales multiples makes it clear valuations for many high-growth names have soared.
    • Facebook (FB), LinkedIn (LNKD), Zillow (Z) and YELP now respectively trade at 13.4x, 13.1x, 10.9x, and 14.8x 2014E sales. The story is similar for some enterprise-focused names: Workday (WDAY) and Splunk (SPLK) go for 20.7x and 17.3x FY15E (ends Jan. '15) sales, and ServiceNow (NOW), Tableau (DATA), and FireEye (FEYE) go for 11.9x, 14.4x, and 21.4x 2014E sales.
    • Price/billings ratios for enterprise firms that depend heavily on cloud subscriptions are a bit lower than price/sales ratios, but are still often in the double-digit range.
  • Oct. 18, 2013, 10:29 AM
    • "We believe that Google's (GOOG +12.8%) ability to monetize experiences through engagement-based services will allow it to disrupt many hardware and software layers over time," writes Evercore's Ken Sena, exemplifying the glowing analyst commentary that has followed Google's Q3 beat.
    • Sena, who is raising his PT to $1,100, sees Google's services investments pressuring near-term margins, but also creating "a stronger platform ecosystem in which more collected data, better predictive analytics, and an increased amount of screen connectivity will lead to better overall search economics in addition to new opportunities."
    • Needham and Jefferies have raised their PTs to $1,150, and Deutsche has raised its target to $1,220. YouTube's mobile growth, strong paid click volumes, and the potential for Enhanced Campaigns to lift search ad sales (after doing less damage than expected in Q3) are all mentioned as reasons to stay bullish.
    • U.S. Internet peers continue to rally in sympathy: FB +4.1%. LNKD +3.7%. YELP +7.8%. AMZN +3.3%. Z +3.9%. TRLA +4.8%. ZNGA +2.8%.
    • Foreign Internet names are also moving higher: BIDU +5%. YOKU +6.9%. SINA +3.7%. RENN +4.4%. QIHU +4.9%. DANG +5.9%. YNDX +4%. SIFY +3.4%.
    • Google's Q3 results, details, CC remarks, transcript
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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.