Social media didn't have its finest week, with Twitter (NYSE: TWTR ) and LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD ) slipping after posting quarterly results. Both companies are still growing quickly, but imperfect reports caused Twitter shares to take a 9% drop on Wednesday, while LinkedIn stock surrendered 8% on Friday.
The disappointment at Twitter was the result of usage growth. Revenue was been on a tear for the period as Twitter gets better at monetizing its traffic, but the market's concern was that it wrapped up the quarter with just 14 million unique monthly visitors in sequential growth. That's not going to cut it for a company that trades at a hefty market multiple despite being barely profitable because of its booming popularity. The stock hit an all-time low during the week, but that only means it hasn't traded this low since its November IPO.
LinkedIn's undoing came in its top-line guidance for all of 2014. The quarter itself was solid, with revenue and profitability clocking in comfortably ahead of market expectations. The rub for the career-oriented social-networking leader is that analysts had been targeting $2.11 billion in revenue for this year, and now LinkedIn is calling for $2.06 billion to $2.08 billion. That's not going to look good in any job interview, especially when you factor in that the margin of the first quarter's beat makes the difference for all of 2014 that much wider.
Social networking isn't going away. Most companies would love to be attracting 14 million more users than it had three months earlier. LinkedIn is still in the sweet spot of social media by catering to white-collared pros. However, both stocks took a breather after not giving investors everything they were expecting.
Briefly in the news
And now let's look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.
- Google (NASDAQ: GOOG ) hoped to generate some buzz for its Google Glass specs when it had a one-day sale a couple of weeks ago. Most early adopters balked at the $1,500 price tag, but was that the right call? It may have been. TechInsights published a teardown report this week, showing that the components going into Google Glass cost just $79. Yikes. It's not like Google to expect huge markups on hardware.
- Disney (NYSE: DIS ) held a media dedication for its new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster in Florida. Disney's newest ride should open to the public shortly, wrapping up the New Fantasyland expansion that has gone so well that the park bumped its one-day admission price to $99 earlier this year.
- Noodles & Co. (NASDAQ: NDLS ) is apparently not as boiling hot as the water for its signature dishes. The rapidly expanding chain of fast-casual eateries specializing in noodle dishes in various international incarnations posted disappointing quarterly results. Comps slipped at the 394-unit eatery, and Noodles & Co. missed analyst profit estimates for the second quarter in a row.
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