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LinkedIn Corp. (Nasdaq: LNKD) just reported fourth-quarter earnings that blew away Wall Street estimates, a nice addition to its already impressive resume -- and one that is making LNKD much more attractive than Facebook stock.
LinkedIn earned 35 cents a share, nearly triple the 12 cents earned in the same quarter a year ago. Net income soared 60% to $11.5 million, up from $6.9 million. Revenue jumped 81% to $304 million up from $168 million. Analysts were looking for 19 cents on revenue of $280 million.
U.S. markets accounted for 62%, or $189 million, of Q4 revenue. That was down 2% from the previous quarter. But international growth was robust, kicking in $114.6 million to LinkedIn's bottom-line.
CEO Jeff Weiner called 2012 a "transformative year."
"We have exceeded our own expectations by a wide margin," CFO Steve Sordello said during a conference call.
Shares surged $12.11, or some 10%, to $136.20 after hours Thursday following the report. The rally continued Friday with shares climbing another $26, or almost 21%, hitting an all-time high of $150.25 intraday.
Since its May 2011 initial public offering at $45, shares have more than tripled.
Facebook Earnings Preview: Will Investors "Like" Q4 Earnings?
Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) stock has staged an impressive rebound in recent months after the company's disastrous IPO.
Since mid-November, the social networking giant's stock has gained more than 68%, going from a near-low of $19 to more than $32.
Investors will be watching closely when Facebook releases Q4 earnings after close tomorrow (Wednesday) to see if the company can maintain its momentum.
Expectations are high, as a bevy of analysts have upgraded their outlooks for the stock, though it is still trading well below its IPO price of $38 and its high of $42.
Wall Street projections are for Facebook to report earnings of 15 cents per share on revenue of $1.52 billion.
Facebook Graph Search: Not Good Enough to Help Stock
The excitement Tuesday among Facebook stock (Nasdaq: FB) investors and industry followers over the company's mysterious event was quickly doused after the social networking giant announced the launch of a Facebook graph search - a kind of closed social search engine.
Immediately following the statement from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the hyped media event at FB headquarters, shares of Facebook stock slipped more than 1% on extremely heavy volume. The news was a disappointment to many who had been hoping for something bigger, flashier and more tangible, like a Facebook phone.
The new "knowledgeable graph search" is not a Web search, Zuckerberg explained. It is a search that simply trolls Facebook's vast database.
"I thought that this couldn't be done, but like any good Facebook team would do, they took this challenge. A few months later they had a version that was basically working," a proud Zuckerberg said.
Facebook continues to try to find ways to monetize its massive 1 billion users. Graph search aims to do that by bringing people back to the site more frequently and keeping them there longer.
But Facebook stock investors question if this graph search tool can really do that.
Mystery Facebook Event: Five Things that Could Happen
With little to go on, speculation has run rampant as to what will be announced at tomorrow's (Tuesday's) mystery Facebook event, with new gadgets and M&A activity topping the list.
The social networking giant sent reporters an invitation last week that simply said to "come and see what we're building" on Jan. 15.
The initial buzz ignited quite a rally in Facebook stock, sending shares up more than 9% last week after the invitations went out. Since the start of 2013, FB shares have been on a tear, up some 20% year-to-date.
Cantor Fitzgerald just made Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) one of its "highest conviction calls" for 2013. Plus, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) elevated FB shares as a "top large-cap pick" for the Internet sector. Both firms are upbeat on the traction Facebook is making in the mobile arena.
While some are excited about Tuesday's secretive event, others are not expecting much. In that camp is Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, who has closely been following the company since before its initial public offering.
"I have low expectations," Pachter told MarketWatch, citing the proximity to Q4 earnings, which the company will announce Jan. 30 after the close.
On the other hand, Topeka Capital's Victor Anthony is more expectant and believes the announcement could be "meaningful."
Here are five things that could happen at Tuesday's Facebook event.
Is Zynga (Nasdaq: ZNGA) Doomed Without Facebook?
Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA), creator of FarmVille and other popular social games, has lost its special relationship with Facebook.
Zynga and Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) have had a symbiotic relationship since 2010 by which Zynga was the only provider of social game software that was allowed to promote its games to Facebook's one billion users. In return, Zynga used Facebook's credit system to process payments even on its own Zynga.com games platform.
The close relationship between the two companies had made Zynga the single largest contributor to Facebook revenues outside of advertising. For its part, Zynga is thought to have received about 80% of its revenue from Facebook users.
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