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LinkedIn (LNKD)

  • 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
  • Oct. 17, 2013, 6:00 PM
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  • Oct. 8, 2013, 11:48 AM
    • With the government shutdown having reached day 8, many U.S. and Chinese Internet stocks that have seen giant 2013 gains (often with the help of momentum traders and/or short squeezes) are falling sharply.
    • U.S. decliners include Facebook (FB -5.2%), Yahoo (YHOO -5.2%), Netflix (NFLX -4.7%), LinkedIn (LNKD -7%), Zillow (Z -5.3%), Trulia (TRLA -7.5%), Yelp (YELP -9.3%), Groupon (GRPN -4.9%), and (WWWW -10.2%).
    • Chinese decliners include Baidu (BIDU -6.2%), Sina (SINA -7.5%), YY (YY -7.3%), Sohu (SOHU -5.1%), Renren (RENN -9.2%), Youku (YOKU -9.6%), Vipshop (VIPS -6.9%), and Dangdang (DANG -10.7%).
    • A chart of the YTD performance of some key names speaks for itself.
  • Sep. 27, 2013, 10:38 AM
    • Citing weak order volumes, ITG has cut its Q3 LinkedIn (LNKD -2.4%) estimates.
    • Shares are selling off after rallying to within striking distance of their 52-week high yesterday, thanks in part to a bullish Wunderlich note. Both Wunderlich and Evercore have stated this week their Q3 LinkedIn checks have turned up positive.
    • In July, ITG lowered its Q2 numbers for LinkedIn to a range of $360M-$365M. The company wound up posting Q2 revenue of $363.7M (above a $353.9M consensus).
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  • Sep. 26, 2013, 2:08 PM
    • With analysts continuing to jump over each other to provide bullish commentary for the social networking giants, Facebook (FB +1.9%) has crossed $50 for the first time, and LinkedIn (LNKD +3.1%) is drawing closer to its all-time high of $257.56.
    • Goldman's Heather Bellini has raised her Facebook PT to $58 from $52. She says talks at this week's AdWeek 2013 conference suggest "positive sentiment by attendees toward Facebook's ad products, the successful case studies the company's advertisers presented, and the company's increasing commitment to serving advertisers' needs."
    • Jefferies' Brian Pitz has raised his Facebook PT all the way to $60 from $37, while arguing there's still plenty of room for Facebook to grow its adjusted op. margin from a current 44%.
    • Wunderlich's Blake T. Harper has raised his LinkedIn PT to $280 from $250 (matching Evercore's recent move). He predicts LinkedIn's Talent Solutions (jobs) business will beat expectations again in Q3, thanks to strong job listings growth, price hikes, and growing engagement.
    • Talent Solutions made up 56% of LinkedIn's Q2 revenue, and saw 69% Y/Y sales growth.
  • Sep. 24, 2013, 1:12 PM
    • Analyst Ken Sena has raised his LinkedIn (LNKD +3.8%) PT to $280 from $250 after checks indicate engagement continues to increase, and that U.S.  job postings are still growing at a 100%+ Y/Y rate.
    • Sena believes total U.S. minutes spent on LinkedIn rose 51% Y/Y in July, soundly outpacing user growth of 39%. Moreover, in spite of the mobile shift, global PC minutes/user rose 18% and 16% Y/Y in Aug. and July, respectively.
    • Mobile engagement is believed to have risen 5% Y/Y in July, with U.S. unique visitors doubling to 18M.
    • LinkedIn has rolled out a slew of new features over the last 18 months in an effort to boost engagement rates that remain well below Facebook and Twitter's. The company has also bought popular mobile reader app Pulse.
    • In August, Sena praised the strong engagement/traffic numbers released in tandem with LinkedIn's Q2 report. His 2014 revenue estimate now stands at $2.39B, well above a $2.13B consensus.
    • Shares are only 3% below their all-time high of $257.56.
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  • Sep. 22, 2013, 2:39 AM
    • LinkedIn (LNKD) has denied allegations in a lawsuit that it breaks into members' accounts, and said it never sends invitations to join the service on a user's behalf without permission.
    • The lawsuit, which is from from four members who are seeking damages on behalf of all LinkedIn users, has also accused the company of collecting the addresses of their contacts and spamming them with multiple requests to sign up.
    • LinkedIn relies on referrals for its fast growth, so any restrictions on its practices resulting from the lawsuit could be complicated for the company.
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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.