Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



LinkedIn Grows but Leaves Some Investors Disappointed

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Sometimes you can win and lose at the same time. That's exactly what it feels like with LinkedIn's (NYSE: LNKD  ) fourth-quarter results.

The company reported quarterly revenue of $447 million, which is up 47% year over year and beat the $437 million estimate analysts were looking for. Adjusted earnings per share were $0.39, up from $0.35 year over year.

Despite the revenue increase, investors were focused on the company's first-quarter outlook. LinkedIn said that it expects first-quarter 2014 revenue to be between $450 million and $460 million -- below analyst expectations of $470 million. The difference between those numbers pushed LinkedIn's stock down about 8% in after-hours trading.

It's important to note, though, that LinkedIn's first-quarter outlook is still projected to be about a 40% increase in revenue year over year, despite being lower than analysts project.

It's a little hard to comprehend investor reaction to LinkedIn's latest numbers, considering that the company's fundamental strategies haven't changed and that its year-over-year revenue numbers are up and are expected to continue going up. On top of that, the company increased total membership to 277 million in the fourth quarter, which is an increase of about 37% year over year.

There were some other bright spots as well. The LinkedIn's talent solutions business, which involves recruiting, increased revenue 53% year over year, to $245.6 million. Its advertising segment, called marketing solutions, grew 36% year over year to $113.5 million, and now makes up a quarter of its revenue. LinkedIn also saw its premium subscription business increase revenue 48% year over year.

Foolish thoughts
In a conference call, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said that it's looking to China for international growth, which has a lot of potential for the company. Weiner said LinkedIn has 4 million members in China right now, but that "nearly one in five of the world's knowledge workers and students" live there. 

Weiner also said that professionals outside the U.S. now make up 66% of LinkedIn members and that more than 70% of new members came from outside the U.S. in 2013.

Investors should look for LinkedIn's continued international growth, particularly in China. The country is notoriously difficult to navigate when it comes to online membership and usage, and LinkedIn said it would be open to a joint venture to make further inroads, although Weiner said a partnership isn't necessary.

Another area investors should watch in 2014 is the company's sales solutions segment, which is designed to help salespeople make pitches and generate leads. Weiner said in the call that the company is investing in sales solutions as "a core piece of our business." Investors will want keep an eye on if the company is able to generate significant revenue from the initiative, as it would represent a new way for the company to expand.

Though some investors are disappointed by the company's first-quarter projections, LinkedIn's current growth and future prospects should be enough to keep long-term investors from jumping ship.

3 stocks to own ... forever
As every savvy investor knows, Warren Buffett didn't make billions by betting on half-baked stocks. He isolated his best few ideas, bet big, and rode them to riches, hardly ever selling. You deserve the same. That's why our CEO, legendary investor Tom Gardner, has permitted us to reveal "The Motley Fool's 3 Stocks to Own Forever." These picks are free today! Just click here now to uncover the three companies we love. 

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2014, at 2:18 PM, Pkylie wrote:

    The company made a measly $3.8 Million profit for the quarter while CEO Weiner made $60 Million for the quarter and Chairman Hoffman made $140 Million .

    LNKD 's business model of 5 Billion SPAMs everyday does not generate profit for the company, only for the insiders.

    All Lnkd does is keep pumping and hyping with empty slogans while insiders sell at every opportunity they get.

    So now they are pumping China when everyone knows it's DOA .

    They stopped pumping INDIA now, supposedly a huge profit contributor for the last 18 months that they promised.

    Is there a bigger SCAM stock than Lnkd ?

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2828871, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/4/2015 2:12:08 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Chris Neiger

Chris has covered Tech and Telecom companies for The Motley Fool since 2012. Follow him on Twitter for the latest tech stock coverage.

Today's Market

updated 4 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,374.76 23.38 0.14%
S&P 500 1,951.13 2.27 0.12%
NASD 4,733.50 -16.48 -0.35%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/3/2015 4:00 PM
LNKD $179.10 Down -0.51 -0.28%
LinkedIn CAPS Rating: **