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Linkedin Q4 2015 Earning is Above Expectations, But Stocks Drop 30%

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(Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images) The LinkedIn Corp. logo is displayed on the screens of an Apple Inc. iPhone 6 and a laptop in this arranged photograph taken in London, U.K., on Friday, May, 15, 2015. Facebook Inc. reached a deal with New York Times Co. and eight other media outlets to post stories directly to the social network's mobile news feeds, as publishers strive for new ways to expand their reach. Social Media Illustrations
February 5
5:00 AM 2016

LinkedIn announced its fourth quarter earning and Thursday, which is better than analyst's expectation. However, the company's stock was down 30% because of weaker earnings guidance that what analyst forecasted.

The business social networking reported a $862 million in revenue in fourth quarter of 2015, which provide an adjusted earning of 94 cents per share. This beat the analyst expectation of a 78 cents per share in a $858 million revenue. CEO Jeff Weiner said in a statement quoted by Tech Crunch, '"Q4 was a strong quarter for LinkedIn, bringing to a close a successful year of growth and innovation against our long-term roadmap."

LinkedIn presented a strong data, which its members now has reached 414 million, with 100 million unique visitors each month and 57% of active users are on mobile. It also generated most of revenue from premium services, providing service to job seekers and recruiters to extra features to optimize career placement as a paid service.

Compare to its last year's result of $643 million in the same quarter, LinkedIn booked a 34% increase in revenue. Its adjusted earnings also increased 54% from 61 cents to 94 cents.

However, the company announced its weaker guidance for adjusted earning before interest. LinkedIn announced its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) at about $190 million, which is weaker than forecast of $213.9 million. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner in a statement as quoted by CNBC said, "Our strategy in 2016 will increasingly focus on a narrower set of high value, high impact initiatives with the goal of strengthening and driving leverage across our entire portfolio of businesses. Our roadmap will be supported by greater emphasis on simplicity, prioritization, and ultimate ROI and investment impact."

The weaker earnings guidance has tumble the stock to nearly 30% lower in the after hours trading. According to Mashable, the fierce sell of LinkedIn stock is the latest reminder to technology and Internet companies, that Wall Street investors no longer have much tolerance for even the slightest signs of weakness.

Ahead of the announcement, LinkedIn stock has tumbled 15% in 2016. The company's stock was closed on Thursday at $192.28

Regarding LinkedIn announcement on weaker earnings guidance, an analyst from Mizuho Securities, Neil Doshi told to CNBC, "It looks like 2016 will really be a year of refocus and reinvestment, and it seems like investors might be taking a pause on this stock right now."

Although it booked a better than expected earning, but weaker earning guidance gave negative impact for the Mountain View-based company. It reduces the investors' confidence which dropped its stock by almost 30% in the after hours trading on Thursday.

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