LinkedIn (LNKD) Stock Soars on 4Q Earnings Results



Shares of LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) were trading at $264.00 per share, up +26.03 or +10.94 percent in Friday's premarket after the company released better than expected fourth quarter earnings after Thursday's market close. LinkedIn stock closed at $237.97 per share, up +5.94 or +2.56 percent in Thursday's regular trading session as the Dow climbed 200 points.

Mountain View, California based LinkedIn Corp. is a social network website that offers services to people in professional capacities.
Founded in 2003, LinkedIn has grown exponentially, having grown to a total of over 300 million acquired users in 200 countries around the world and is the largest professional network on the Internet. LinkedIn's average net yearly profits have grown an average of +139 percent every year since its founding and the firm is considered one of the most successful startups of all time.

LinkedIn reported net income of $3 million in the last three months of 2014 versus net income of $4 million in the same quarter one year ago. Non-GAAP income for the quarter came to $77 million versus $48 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. Non-GAAP net income for the whole year of 2014 came to $254 million versus full year income of $192 million in 2013.

Jeff Weiner, Chief Executive Officer of LinkedIn said in a press release that, "The fourth quarter capped another successful year for LinkedIn, which was marked by steady member growth and strong financial results," he added that, "We continued to make significant progress against a number of multi-year, strategic initiatives including mobile, jobs, content, and global expansion."

The company reported revenue from the United States of $388 million, which represented 60 percent of total fourth quarter revenue, while international markets came to $255 million or 40 percent of total revenue in the fourth quarter. Field sales revenue was $414 million in the quarter, which represented 64 percent of total revenue with revenue online channel revenue of $230 million or 36 percent of total fourth quarter revenue. LinkedIn ended the quarter with 15 million new users, bringing the number of users posting their work histories to 347 million.

Steve Sordello, LinkedIn's Chief Financial Officer concluded the company's conference call after the earnings release saying that, “2014 represented a year of both new strategic investments and significant progress against LinkedIn's long term roadmap. We improved our member experience by investing in mobile, content, and the successful launch in China. Within monetization, we increased investment to pursue the larger market opportunity in Talent Solutions, while laying the foundation for Marketing and Sales Solutions through the acquisition of Bizo and launch of the flagship Sales Navigator. We will continue to aggressively invest in our member and customer platforms to pursue the vision of building the world's first economic graph and realizing LinkedIn's full potential.

Guidance for the company's fiscal 2015 year was for earnings per share of $2.95 on revenues of $2.93 - $2.95 billion with first quarter earnings per share forecast at $0.53 per share. Analysts expected full year earnings per share of $2.75 on $2.95 billion in revenue.

LinkedIn stock will open at a new all-time high this morning. In addition to stellar earnings and guidance for next year, a number of analysts are revising their price target on the stock including JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS). The stock could continue higher after this morning's market opening.

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Published on Feb 6, 2015
By Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk enjoyed a 12-year professional financial markets career incorporating extensive first hand futures and options experience obtained by trading in the stock, commodity and forex markets on U.S. exchanges. Since retiring as a full-time financial market professional, he has been actively trading stock, commodities, forex and options for his own account and managing funds for others, as well as writing financial market commentary and educational articles.

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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