Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Shares of professional social networking site LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD.DL) are trading 14% higher around noon today after the company trounced Wall Street's expectations with an excellent fourth-quarter earnings report. Shares have reached an all-time high and are continuing to climb as of this writing.
Why it's happening
LinkedIn's fourth quarter saw $643.4 million in revenue and $0.61 in adjusted earnings per share, against Wall Street's expectations of just $617 million in revenue and $0.53 in adjusted EPS. The company's strong finish to the 2014 fiscal year helped push full-year revenue up to $2.219 billion -- a 45% uptick from 2013's results -- and drove adjusted full-year EPS 25% higher to $2.02. Both full-year results bested Wall Street's consensus, which had called for annual revenue of $2.19 billion and adjusted full-year EPS of $1.94.
On a GAAP basis, LinkedIn reported a fourth-quarter profit of $0.02 per share and a full-year loss of $0.13 per share. That loss was driven by stock-based compensation, which totaled $319 million for the full year, or roughly 15% of LinkedIn's total operational costs.
Looking ahead, LinkedIn now expects to earn roughly $0.53 in adjusted EPS for the first quarter on revenue that should range from $618 million to $622 million. Its full-year projections call for $2.95 in adjusted EPS on revenue in the range of $2.93 billion to $2.95 billion. LinkedIn's full-year EPS guidance is the only metric that comes in significantly ahead of Wall Street's estimates, which had called for just $2.73 in EPS for 2015. Analysts had expected LinkedIn's first-quarter revenue to come in at $645.7 million, and its EPS was projected to be $0.55.