LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) has gone up more than 100% over the past year. Top-line growth has been phenomenal and it seems to have a lock on the online professional network market. Furthermore, management is top-tier, which we’ll get to soon. All that said, LinkedIn might not be a great investment at this point in time.
A high-quality operation
LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) is a monetization machine, and considering the company’s user base of approximately 225 million, this is a big deal. LinkedIn generates most of its revenue through Talent Solutions, where recruiters and potential job candidates are connected.
LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) recently made moves in an effort to improve ad revenue, which currently represents approximately 20% of total sales. LinkedIn added two new features to SlideShare — a new infographics player and a SlideShare Pro analytics upgrade. These two features have the potential to increase time-on-site, which would lead to a boost in advertising revenue.
According to Alexa.com, time-on-site has declined 3% over the past three months, so these innovations could be a shot in the arm. Though time-on-site has declined, LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) has seen a consistent increase in traffic this year.
LinkedIn.com is now ranked No. 14 in the world and No. 10 in the United States for online traffic. These are stratospheric rankings that won’t just lead to more traffic, but increase brand recognition.
LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) also ranks high for company culture. According to Glassdoor.com, employees have rated their employer a 4.1 of 5, and 81% of employees would recommend the company to a friend. Even more impressive is that 93% of employees approve of CEO Jeff Weiner.
In anonymous reviews, employees state that LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) workers are filled with passion and that the majority of those workers are highly intelligent. The morale is noted to be high and management is often referred to as hard-working. The latter is extremely difficult to find in any industry.
In most cases, employees dislike their managers because they work less and take home a bigger paycheck. However, there doesn’t seem to be any friction here. And as you know, happy employees make for happy customers.
LinkedIn vs. peers
LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) might be seeing consistent top-line growth, but earnings declined in 2012 after several years of improvements. Just don’t think the story is changing, the lack of profitability was simply due to a temporary rise in costs.
Over the long haul, LinkedIn should be able to grow its top and bottom lines. When a company establishes a user base of 225 million and dominates market share, the future is likely to be bright.
The biggest concern for LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) right now has nothing to do with future potential, but valuation. LinkedIn is currently trading at 99 times forward earnings, which means expectations are extremely high. If it missed earnings, the stock could suffer significantly in a short period of time.
Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:MWW) was once a well-run operation with a bright future, but things change quickly in the business world. To give you a general idea of the difference in online exposure, Monster Worldwide ranks No. 526 globally and No. 117 in the United States for online traffic.
Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:MWW)’s company culture is poor, as employees see no future, and they’re frustrated with management’s unwillingness to take a risk in an attempt to increase market share. To some it seems as if management is simply collecting paychecks until the business runs its course.
The company’s technology is outdated and the only thing its been doing lately is cutting costs. Unfortunately, cutting costs isn’t a viable long-term strategy. Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:MWW)’s revenue declined in 2012 and it swung to a loss. If big changes aren’t made soon, then Monster Worldwide will continue to sputter down a dark tunnel without any hope of rescue.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is similar to LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) because of its social media framework. Some felt Facebook lacked direction when it went public, but with a strategy to generate revenue through mobile, the future looks bright.