LinkedIn Grim Outlook Slows The Stock Momentum

LinkedIn Corp gave a grim revenue forecast for the end of the year that slowed the impressive run of the stock price so far, despite the fact that the professional network posted attractive numbers in the third quarter.

During the earnings call, company’s executives lowered the projection for the fourth quarter, stating that desktop page views can decrease.

Estimates lower than consensus

 For the last three months of the year, company expects revenue between $415 million to $420 million, which is lower than the analyst’s projection of $438 million. Analysts believe that the fourth quarter growth will not be much exciting as compared to the last year, when it brought new features.

After posting better than expected results for the July to September period, LinkedIn slightly raised its full year estimate to $1.5 billion, but that also was slightly short of the Wall Street projection.

High valuation

The shares of the company fell 4.5 percent to $236 after in after hours of trading. Despite the decline, the stock price has more than doubled in the past year and quintupled since 2011, when it issued its IPO at a price of $45 a share, says a report from Reuters.

LinkedIn with a market value of $27.7 billion is trading approximately at 158 times its forward earnings, compared to Facebook Inc’s 70 times and Google Inc 23 times. Such high valuation has raised the concerns whether the company can sustain its growth.

Impressive history

LinkedIn has made itself famous among professional recruiters and job seekers who are ready to pay for the services, helping it to enjoy a steady revenue stream.

For the quarter, the monthly users zoomed to 259 million, which is a 38 percent increase from the last fiscal. In the quarter, company earned 39 cents a share beating the 32 cent a share projection by analysts.

Since the time the company came with its IPO, it has beaten top line targets quarter after quarter.

Mobile push

CEO Weiner told in a conference call on Tuesday, that finding ways to earn money through the company’s mobile applications is a matter of “Strategic Importance,” and further stating that the company is in a “transition period.”

Weiner told that LinkedIn, like many other social networking sites, has focused the shift to mobile. Mobile users now account for almost 38 percent of the total users compared to 8 percent in early 2011.