By The Associated Press - Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – LinkedIn’s rapidly rising stock got demoted late Thursday after the online…
SAN FRANCISCO – LinkedIn’s rapidly rising stock got demoted late Thursday after the online professional networking service released a forecast calling for its earnings growth to slow later this year as the company hires more workers, invests in data centres and tweaks the way that it shows online ads.
The predicted deceleration overshadowed another stellar performance during the first three months of the year. As has been the case in every reporting period since LinkedIn Corp. went public two years ago, both the company’s first-quarter earnings and revenue topped the analyst estimates that steer Wall Street expectations.
But management’s projections for both the current quarter ending in June and the full year came in below analyst projections, rattling investors who have become accustomed to LinkedIn delivering nothing but pleasant surprises.
The letdown dampened the feverish interest in LinkedIn’s stock, which surpassed $200 for the first time Thursday. After closing at $201.67, LinkedIn’s shares tumbled $20.45, or more than 10 per cent, to $181.22 in extended trading.
Even if the sell-off carries through into Friday’s regular trading session, LinkedIn’s stock still will have more than quadrupled from its initial public offering price of $45. As of Thursday’s close, the shares had surged by 76 per cent so far this year compared to a 12 per cent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.
LinkedIn has thrived by establishing itself as the go-to place for employers to find talented workers and for people to get job tips and other advice to manage their careers. It doesn’t cost anything for people to set up a professional profile on the site. The Mountain View, Calif., company makes most of its money by charging employers and headhunters for analytical tools and additional access to LinkedIn profiles and the site, such as the ability to send messages to users.
The service now has 225 million members, up from 202 million members at the end of last year.
LinkedIn is now adding more content, giving its audience more reasons to return to its website more frequently and to stay for longer periods. The company hopes that will lead to more advertising to supplement its revenue. As part of that process, LinkedIn plans to place more ads within the stream of the personal updates appearing in the middle of its members’ individual pages rather displaying them on the sides.
The switch is a strategy already used by social networking leader Facebook Inc. and online messaging service Twitter to make it easier to show ads on mobile devices. LinkedIn plans to make the transition gradually to minimize the chances of irritating its members, CEO Jeff Weiner told analysts during a Thursday conference call.
LinkedIn’s profits also will be lowered by the expenses for expanding the company’s payroll and building data centres to run its online services.
“There are some incremental investments coming into play,” Steve Sordello, LinkedIn’s chief financial officer, told analysts during the conference call.
LinkedIn earned $22.6 million, or 20 cents per share, in the first quarter. That’s up from $5 million, or 4 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Adjusted earnings were 45 cents per share in the latest quarter, well above analysts’ expectations of 30 cents, based on a poll by FactSet.
Revenue grew 72 per cent from last year to nearly $325 million — about $7 million above analyst projections.
Analysts, though, are likely to revise their estimates for the rest of the year.
LinkedIn expects second-quarter revenue between $342 million and $347 million for the April-June period. Analysts had forecast $360 million.
For the full year, LinkedIn believes its revenue will range from $1.43 billion to $1.46 billion. That’s $20 million more than the company had predicted a few months ago, but analysts have been counting on full-year revenue of $1.5 billion.
Another figure that troubled investors is LinkedIn’s forecast for its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA. This measure provides an inkling of how much money the company is likely to make. LinkedIn expects full-year EBITDA of $330 million to $345 million for the full year, below analysts’ expectations of $363 million.
By The Associated Press - Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 4:29 PM - 0 Comments
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – LinkedIn says its first-quarter net income grew more than fourfold…
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – LinkedIn says its first-quarter net income grew more than fourfold as revenue increased sharply, but its outlook is below Wall Street’s expectations.
Shares of the online professional networking service are down sharply in extended trading.
LinkedIn Corp. said Thursday that it earned $22.6 million, or 20 cents per share, in the January-March period. That’s up from $5 million, or 4 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Adjusted earnings were 45 cents.
Revenue grew 72 per cent to $324.7 million.
FactSet says analysts expected adjusted earnings of 30 cents per share on revenue of $317.6 million.
LinkedIn’s stock hit its highest level ever on Thursday. It closed above $200, more than four times where it started out in May 2011 when it went public.
By Julia McKinnell - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 4:30 AM - 0 Comments
Don’t let your age stop you from getting back in the workplace.
Who wants to play 30 years of golf anyway?
For people who have retired or been laid off, their later years can be some of the most fulfilling, especially since it’s a time when the urge to make a contribution to the world is strong, and research shows older is better in many ways.
“We become more empathetic, we get better at synthesizing ideas, making connections, solving complex problems,” writes Marci Alboher, author of The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life. In other words, older people can be less angry and better able to deal with disappointment than their younger peers.
Alboher, 46, who was a lawyer before she switched to writing, believes that retirees are capable of making their mark well past their physical prime. As one expert in later-life achievement told her: “You may forget where you put the keys, but you may be able to settle a major labour dispute.” Continue…
By Luke Simcoe - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at 6:15 PM - 0 Comments
Luke Simcoe is a guest blogger. He contributes the occasional post on web culture, the various kooks and cranks who inhabit the Internet, as well as copyright matters. Today (among other things) he put together this Storify.
By Scott Feschuk - Monday, October 3, 2011 at 10:20 AM - 9 Comments
Some boys yearned to be firefighters or astronauts—others aimed for the bacon
As children, each of us held in our imagination an idea of the job we’d hope to have when we grew up. Some yearned to be an astronaut or a firefighter. John Baird clearly aspired to become the world’s first human-klaxon hybrid, and mission accomplished. As for me—well, I recently discovered that the dream job of my youth had finally come open.
It was posted recently on LinkedIn. The employer? Maple Leaf Foods. The position? Marketing Manager, Bacon.
To be candid, I hadn’t, as a boy, narrowed it down specifically to “Marketing Manager, Bacon.” I would also have accepted “President, Bacon” or “Jedi Knight, Bacon.” I just knew I wanted to work with bacon. (Yes, I was a husky lad.)
On the list of my favourite things in this world, “bacon” ranks in the top three—just above “the smell of bacon” and just below “the rare morning when my kids don’t finish their bacon and I pretend to be ticked at them and get all theatrical as I take away their plates but then I cram the remaining bacon into my mouth all at once on the way to the dishwasher and I feel ashamed but also, mmm, gawwwwwwd that’s good.”
By Erica Alini - Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 12:53 PM - 14 Comments
A few weeks ago, I sung LinkedIn’s praises in a piece that reviewed the company’s stellar performance in recent years, and downplayed the importance of its undoubtedly inflated IPO.
Chris Herbert, a Maclean’s reader and founder of a marketing and business development company, left an interesting comment on the story. He too is a fan of LinkedIn, he wrote, but has a quibble with the site: phantom employees. Several people have claimed to be employees at his Mi6 Agency, he told Maclean’s in an interview, when, in fact, they aren’t. It’s an issue other business owners have been complaining about for a while. Continue…
By Erica Alini - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:22 PM - 2 Comments
It may not be worth $8 billion, but the social network has potential
The social networking site LinkedIn must be suffering from a serious case of performance anxiety after last week’s Initial Public Offering. Shares priced at US$45 were trading above US$100 shortly after the offering, and the company’s market valuation now stands at around US$8 billion, or roughly 520 times its net earnings in 2010.
While there’s no shortage of warnings that this is yet another sign of a tech bubble in the making, even the critics admit there’s something more to LinkedIn than meets the eye. “You can make some reasonable assumptions that the company will be successful and profitable in the future,” says Josh Bernoff, a social media analyst at Forrester Research. In part, that’s because the number of LinkedIn’s members is growing, and there aren’t competitors on the horizon to woo them away. LinkedIn currently stands at over 90 million registered users, almost double as many as it had only two years ago. If that seems small compared to Facebook’s 500 million-strong network, it’s because LinkedIn appeals to a very specific kind of user: White-collar office dwellers. In a online entry for Business Insider, marketing consultant Byrne Hobart calls it “the place for things you’re willing to brag about, which are not fun.” It’s the social network where people job-hunt, and schmooze—a niche that has little to do with Facebook, which is all about vacation pictures and updates about kids and pets.
The amount of time LinkedIn users are spending on the website is also growing. And the bigger the network gets, the more useful it becomes for its members, who are then more likely to become active and engaged. Faiyaz Dossaji, for example, joined LinkedIn about four years ago, but didn’t initially see the benefit of it. “I joined because I was job-hunting at the time, …but I hadn’t thought too much about it because nothing came of it,” says the 31-year old analyst at BAE Systems, a defense, security and aerospace systems firm. Last year, though, Dossaji, who was again searching for job opportunities, heard of a former boss who’d found a job through LinkedIn. That spurred him to devote more energies to the site, joining groups of other professionals and alumni networks and asking for recommendations from former employers. Not long afterwards he received an inquiry from an employer–the very BAE Systems he now works for.
If job hunters are rapidly warming up to LinkedIn, headhunters are already unwavering loyalists. Byron Tarboton, head of research and operations at Archer Mathieson, a U.K.-based management recruiting firm, calls the social network “a primary tool” for his job. “About 90 to 95 per cent of the individuals I place in roles are through LinkedIn,” he says. That’s because the website is an ideal search engine for resumes. It allows Tarboton, for example, to look for a human resources director in the fast-moving consumer goods industry, working in a company with a client size of 500 to 2000 individuals, and living within a 25 miles radius from the new, prospective employer. A search like that, he says, would normally turn up anywhere between 50 and 500 potential job candidates. LinkedIn charges a fee for this type of service, but the price tag is easily justified. For about $80 a month, Tarboton can reach up to 50 potential candidates a month; if only one of them is hired, he pockets between $40,000 and $50,000.
Users like Tarboton make up the backbone of LinkedIn’s business, which last year, according to Business Insider, derived over US$100 million of its US$243 million revenue from its recruiting services. A much smaller part of that comes from premium subscriptions, which, for example, allow members to reach out to other users outside their network of contacts. Finally, a sizable slice of the money comes from advertising. The three-pronged revenue structure is another factor that sets LinkedIn apart from Facebook, whose business relies almost exclusively on marketing—and another trait appreciated by investors.
But whether LinkedIn is worth US$4 billion, as the initial IPO pricing suggested, or $8 billion, as the market seems to think, it will need to continue to grow fast. LinkedIn will have to find a way to increase ads while maintaining their characteristic unobtrusiveness. And it will have to find new members beyond the North American market, which is close to saturation, says Bernoff. In Europe, that means taking on the local online professional networks: France’s Viadeo, with its 35 million members, and Germany’s Xing, which counts over 10 million. In China, there’s the problem of heavy regulation and government interference with the Internet, something that tripped up even Google. Elsewhere in Asia there’s the question of cultural barriers. Facebook hit a wall in Japan, where people tend to engage in online social networking using pseudonyms rather than their real names. In LinkedIn’s case, Japan and Korea’s corporate culture means that employees don’t switch jobs very often, and they might not feel the need to network professionally, says Bernoff.
None of this, of course, spells doom for LinkedIn’s prospects, but it probably indicates that, even if the US$8 billion valuation is no bubble, the market might need to let out some hot air soon.