LinkedIn Mixed, Lower Guidance Tanks Shares - Analyst Blog
Earnings of 5 cents per share (before non-recurring items, stock-based compensation and amortization) missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 8 cents. Yet revenues of $447.2 million in the quarter topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $440 million. LinkedIn's 277 million members overall was more than analysts had expected. Talent Solutions, which make up over half the company's total business, increased 53% year over year, and Marketing Solutions and Premium Subscriptions also demonstrated healthy year over year growth.
But the guidance? That's another story.
Both for fiscal Q1 and full-year 2014, LinkedIn low-balled their estimates well below where we anticipated guidance would be. While the company estimates revenues between $455-460 million next quarter -- a steady improvement from Q4 -- guidance is lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate by $7 million. Full-year guidance of $2.02-2.05 billion is similarly down from the Zacks estimate of $2166 million we were expecting.
So now analysts will get busy downwardly revising estimates, which will likely keep LinkedIn a Zacks Rank #5 at least a little while longer. But first, the after-market is letting LinkedIn know how it feels about revenue projections like these, and the results aren't pretty: LNKD shares are down around 10% just since the earnings announcement. In regular-day trading LinkedIn was up 4.24%; apparently investors thought the company's report was going to be a lot better received than this.
As we saw with Twitter ( TWTR ) yesterday failing to reach an expected growth target and seeing the stock get punished in late trading, so we see here today with LinkedIn not expecting to keep up its growth trajectory in the current year. Perhaps much was based on some pretty lofty expectations -- speaking of, LinkedIn's market cap is the very definition of a lofty expectation -- and cooler heads will prevail once everything is sorted out. But in the meantime, if you're linked to LinkedIn, you're probably feeling a little dragged down right now.
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