LinkedIn Reports Q3 Earnings; Revenue Up 80% to $252M

LinkedIn reported its earnings for Q3 2012, with revenue increasing to $252 million, up more than 80% year-over-year. Its net income increased to $2.3 million, compared to a loss of $1.6 million last year, despite it continuing to expand rapidly across geographies.

Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, said:

“LinkedIn had a strong third quarter with all of our key operating and financial metrics showing solid growth. The last few months mark the most significant period of product development in the company’s history. This accelerated pace of innovation is fundamental to our goal of driving greater engagement on the LinkedIn platform.”

Talent solutions accounted for most of its revenue, with sales increasing to $138.4 million, up 95% year-over-year. Marketing solutions accounted for $64 million in revenue, up 60% year-over-year. Premium LinkedIn subscriptions accounted for $49.6 million in sales, up 74% year-over-year.

Revenue from the US added up to $162.4 million, while international revenue was $89.7 million.

LinkedIn made quite a few improvements in Q3; it redesigned its homepage to make it more social, it also added notifications and launched Endorsements, an easier type of recommendations.

It also upgraded Company Pages to enable companies to engage with professional audiences.

LinkedIn’s cash reserves (and short term investments) increased to $675 million by the end of Q3 2012.

Yelp Reports Q3 Earnings, Revenue Jumps to $36M

Yelp reported its earnings for Q3 2012, with net revenue increasing to $36.4 million, up around 63% year-over-year. It also managed to almost halve its net loss to $2 million from $3.8 million last year. Its total net revenue for the first nine months of 2012 increased to $96.4 million.

Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s CEO, said:

“We had a great quarter, fueled by the rich, authentic local content created by Yelpers around the world. Our innovative drive and focus on community are key to capturing the opportunity before us. Mobile remains a top priority and we expect it to be a key driver of engagement and success in the future. As we continue to build Yelp communities around the world and connect consumers with great local businesses, we further fulfill our mission to be the de facto local search engine.”

Yelp continued to expand globally, fueled by cash from its IPO. It launched in Helsinki and Singapore, bringing the total number of Yelp markets to 96. Yelp’s cumulative total reviews grew almost 50% year-over-year to 33 million, and its average monthly unique visitors increased 37% to 84 million. Active local business accounts, the direct metric for its profitability increased 82% to 35.5k.

Yelp saw mobile usage increasing, with nearly 8 million unique devices using its apps, and 45% of all searches originating on mobile devices.

Yelp’s integration with Siri in iOS 6 also helped it boost its mobile app usage. It also launched its redesigned homepage to boost engagement and offer more relevant recommendations.

Yelp is projecting revenue of around $40 million in Q4 2012, which should bring its yearly revenue just short of $140 million.

It ended the quarter with $123 million in cash reserves.

via Yelp – SEC

Sony Reports Q2 Earnings: Revenue Tops $20B, Net Loss of Around $198M

Sony has seen bad times in the last couple of years, and it reported a $5.7 billion loss last year, with continuing losses since. It has focused on cutting down operating expenses by restructuring in a bid to return to profitability and its moves seem to be working. It plans to cut almost 10,000 jobs this year to clamp down on administrative expenses.

Anyway, it reported revenue of $20.57 billion in Q2, with an operating profit of $388 million, and a net loss of $198 million.

Digital imaging products generated $2.34 billion in revenue and $33 million in operating income while its Game division generated $1.89 billion in revenue and $29 million in operating profit. Mobile products revenue more than doubled, reaching $3.85 billion with an operating loss of $296 million. Home Entertainment brought in revenues of $3.02 billion, but also saw an operating loss of $203 million. Devices, which includes semiconductors and components, saw revenue of $3.20 billion and an operating profit of $382 million.

Sony Pictures generated revenues of $2.09 billion and an operating profit of $101 million, while Sony Music ringed up sales of $1.27 billion and an operating profit of $101 million.

The Financial Services division saw revenue of $2.96 billion and operating income of $400 million.

Sony’s cash reserves increased to $7.55 billion, while its marketable securities are now up to $8.13 billion.

Sony will be launching quite a few major products in the coming quarters, especially in the gaming, TV and mobile segments.

Check out Sony’s complete results here: Sony Q2 Earnings

Asus Reports Q3 Earnings; Profits Up 43%

Asus just reported its earnings for Q3 2012, and surprised everyone by posting its largest quarterly profit in the last four years, which is in contrast with the bleak numbers reported by its competitors in the PC industry.

Asus saw its numbers rise in part due to the excellent sales of the Nexus 7 tablet, which it built with Google. Asus’ market share in PCs also increased to 7.3% last quarter, with its shipments increasing 12%. Its competitors saw their market share shrink.

Asus reported a net profit of $229.1 million, up 43% year-over-year, and significantly higher than analyst estimates.

Its notebook shipments increased to 5 million, up 14% over the second quarter of 2012, and its tablet shipments almost tripled to 2.3 million units, thanks to the Nexus 7.

Asus doesn’t only have the flagship Android tablet right now, but will also be launching a series of Windows 8 products. It has projected even higher sales and earnings in the next quarter.

via WSJ

Samsung Reports $7.4B Operating Profit, Shipped 57M Smartphones Last Quarter

The two largest consumer technology giants in the world posted their results yesterday. They were Apple and Samsung. While Apple’s results were very impressive, as expected, even Samsung posted really good numbers.

Samsung reported a quarterly operating profit of $7.4 billion, with profits almost doubling year-over-year.

Its smartphone shipments have been estimated to be around 58 million in Q3, which is much higher than Apple’s 27 million iPhones. Samsung’s mobile division accounted for around two-thirds of its total operating profit. Samsung may have shipped close to 18-20 million Galaxy S III units in the last quarter. Samsung and Apple account for half the total smartphone shipments globally.

On the flip side, Samsung’s profits from its chip division dipped 28% as prices of DRAM chips declined, partly offset by increasing sales of its NAND flash chips.

Even its TV business isn’t doing all that well. Smartphones are expected to be its business growth driver in the coming years.

via Reuters

Amazon Reports Q3 2012 Earnings; $13.8B in Revenue, $274M in Losses

Amazon posted its earnings for Q3 2012, with net sales increasing to $13.806 billion, but net losses increasing to $274 million. Of the total sales, product sales accounted for $11.546 billion, while service sales accounted for $2.260 billion. Media sales accounted for $4.6 billion, while Electronics and other general merchandise accounted for $8.558 billion.

Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon.com, said:

“Our approach is to work hard to charge less. Sell devices near breakeven and you can pack a lot of sophisticated hardware into a very low price point. And our approach is working — the $199 Kindle Fire HD is the #1 bestselling product across Amazon worldwide. Incredibly, this is true even as measured by unit sales. The next two bestselling products worldwide are our Kindle Paperwhite and our $69 Kindle. We’re selling more of each of these devices than the #4 bestselling product, book three of the Fifty Shades of Grey series. And we haven’t even started shipping our best tablet — the $299 Kindle Fire HD 8.9” ships November 20.”

The earnings release seemed to be focused on targeting the iPad mini more than anything else. Amazon posted a complete comparison of the Kindle Fire and the Kindle Fire HD vs the iPad mini, and tried to skewer it completely in terms of specs and price.

Amazon’s strategy is to sell hardware at breakeven, and make money on digital content sales, as compared to Apple, which makes money on both. So far, Apple is winning in terms of both – device and content sales, as well as profit.

Given the upcoming holiday period, and the recent launch of the Kindle Paperwhite, we expect Amazon to post a loss even in the next quarter.

While Apple’s approach is definitely more lucrative and probably better, there can be only one Apple. Amazon is pursuing the exact opposite route, and is focusing more on sales and market share than profitability in the short term.

On the operational front, Amazon has continued to add more digital content to its platform, and also improved the capabilities of its fulfillment centers.

AWS continues to be one of Amazon’s fastest growing businesses, and probably powers almost half the internet today.

Amazon ended the quarter with $2.98 billion in cash and cash equivalents and $2.268 in marketable securities.

via Amazon – SEC

Yahoo Acquires Stamped; Focused on Mobile

Yahoo seems to have made its first startup acquisition under the reign of its new CEO, Marissa Mayer. It has acquired Stamped, a new mobile recommendations app, which lets users save and share their favorite books, movies, music and restaurants etc with their friends.

It also allows users to follow the recommendations of other influential people like celebrities.

It seems to primarily be a talent acquisition, and a part of Yahoo’s major mobile push. With Stamped’s team, Yahoo will start building out a major mobile product development team in New York.

Stamped’s existing offerings will be discontinued soon.

Marissa Mayer clearly outlined in Yahoo’s Q3 2012 earnings call that it is focused on mobile now, and will have to pivot to a mobile-focused strategy in the coming months. This could be the first major move that shows where her priorities lie.

The exact acquisition amount hasn’t been revealed yet, but it’s likely to be low.

Apparently, Stamped’s CEO, Robby Stein, has worked with Mayer at Google before, as an associate product manager, a program led by Mayer herself.

Yahoo seems to be on the right path with Marissa Mayer leading the charge. She might be the best person to make Yahoo a juggernaut on the internet again, a space which it dominated a decade ago.

Pocket Comes to the Mac. And it’s Awesome!

Pocket is probably the best “read later” app out there. It’s also the most used app on my phone. It was formerly known as Read It Later, and was a close second to Instapaper, but the developers have really improved the experience a lot in the last few months and raised additional funding too – $5 million. All apps are free, and they plan to monetize the service by somehow tying up with content providers.

Anyway, they launched a native app for the Mac today, and I’ve been checking it out. It’s really impressive, and much better than the web interface which was pretty good too. The biggest improvement with the native app is offline access for articles, videos and all types of content.

It offers a minimal, clean interface which minimizes distractions so you can easily consume your saved content. I use it mostly to catch up on my reading, and though I would still prefer the smartphone app, the Mac app does improve the desktop experience. Pocket might also launch a Windows 8 version soon.

The features are pretty much the same as the smartphone apps.

Here’s a list of the features Pocket offers:

  • Fast, seamless syncing across all devices
  • Keyboard shortcuts for key actions
  • Tweet attributions for any items saved from Twitter
  • The ability to share to Twitter, Facebook, Buffer, Evernote and email
  • Easy organizing and super fast search features
  • New ways to save from your clipboard and via drag and drop

Highly recommended. Just love the app.

Sprint Q3 2012 Earnings: Sells 1.5 M iPhones, Revenue Tops $8.7 Billion

After Verizon and AT&T, it was Sprint’s turn to report its quarterly earnings. It reported net operating revenues of $8.763 billion, up around 5% year-over-year. However, its losses increased to $767 million, more than doubling year-over-year. Its operating loss was $231 million, much less than a $629 million operating loss last quarter.

It added around 900,000 net new users and sold around 1.5 million new iPhones.

It also made significant progress with its Network VIsion deployment, with 4G LTE coverage in more than 32 cities and 115 more coming soon.

The Sprint postpaid subscriber base saw net additions of 410,000. Sprint also reported that it surpassed sales of 1 million LTE smartphones before the launch of the iPhone 5.

Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO, said:

“The Sprint platform performed well, with strong net subscriber additions, record third quarter postpaid and prepaid churn and robust revenue growth, contributing to Adjusted OIBDA* of $1.28 billion even as we continue to invest in Network Vision and position the company for future growth.”

Sprint is in a very strong financial position now, thanks to Softbank’s acquisition.

via Sprint – SEC

Zynga Q3 2012 Earnings: $317M Revenue, 317M Users

Zynga just announced its earnings for Q3 2012, with revenue of $317 million, up 3% year-over-year, and a net loss of $53 million. It has had a rocky quarter, with its stock pricing dipping to an all time low. It is currently valued just slightly more than its cash reserves and securities, which indicates how much investors really believe in its future earnings potential.

Mark Pincus, CEO and Founder, Zynga, said:

“While the last several months have been challenging for us, Zynga remains well positioned to capitalize on the growth of social gaming. We’re implementing a number of steps to drive long-term growth and profitability. The successful launches of FarmVille 2 and ChefVille in the third quarter demonstrate that when we develop great games, our large player audience engages. It’s more clear than ever that along with search, shop, and share, play is a fundamental pillar of the Internet, and Zynga continues to be the leader.”

While Zynga is still light years ahead of its competition in terms of user numbers, it hasn’t been able to monetize them that well, and is seeing very high churn.

By struggling to launch new hits, but mainly by acquisitions, it has managed to increase its monthly active users to 311 million, and its daily active users to 60 million.

It has also seen good numbers for its latest games – ChefVille and FarmVille 2, while some others have crashed and burned.

Here’s a list of business highlights by Zynga:

  • Daily active users (DAUs) increased from 54 million in the third quarter of 2011 to 60 million in the third quarter of 2012, up 10% year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) increased from 227 million in the third quarter of 2011 to 311 million in the third quarter of 2012, up 37% year-over-year.
  • Monthly unique users (MUUs) increased from 152 million in the third quarter of 2011 to 177 million in the third quarter of 2012, up 17% year-over-year.
  • Average daily bookings per average DAU (ABPU) decreased from $0.058 in the third quarter of 2011 to $0.047 in the third quarter of 2012, down 19% year-over-year.
  • Monthly Unique Payers (MUPs) decreased from 4.1 million in the second quarter of 2012 to 3.0 million in the third quarter of 2012, down 28% sequentially, largely driven by Draw Something.

In related news, Zynga laid off more than 100 employees from its Boston office, shutting down its The Ville and Bingo teams in Austin. Both these games had seen user numbers plummet in the last couple of months.

However, there was also good news. Zynga finally announced a real-money gambling partnership in the UK. It will be tying up with bwin.party, and power real-money gambling on Zynga Casino, its platform for online games like Poker and other casino offerings.

It is also focusing on building an ad platform to monetize its massive user base, and also incentivize other developers to work with Zynga and promote their apps. It may also open it to other developers by integrating it with Zynga Platform.

via  Zynga – SEC