February 7, 2014

Tech News Roundup: Week of February 3, 2014

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It’s been all about earnings this week, with some major tech players releasing their numbers. We’ve got the most important bits below, neatly summarized, plus a few other items that caught our attention.

1. Twitter released their first earnings report since going public, and investors weren’t impressed with the results. Their stock fell 21%, mainly due to their subpar user growth. While the social network is still adding members, their acquisition rate has slowed. They also reported that they’re making more money per view on advertising than ever before though. Financial analysts remain divided.  UBS lists their stock as a “sell,” while Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs maintain “buy” ratings.

2. LinkedIn on the other hand reported strong user growth, but still fell 11% in after-hours trading due to their outlook for the next quarter. Their membership grew to 277 million in the fourth quarter, but they predicted their sales will only hit $460 million in Q1, versus an expected $470 million. They also expect a total sales volume of $2.02 billion for the entire year, about $200 million shy of analyst expectations.

3. Local review site Yelp managed to impress analysts on user growth and revenue. The company saw revenue growth of 72% year over year, for a a total of $70.7 million last quarter. They still posted a net loss of about $2 million, but it seems like all their metrics are right on track. Their cumulative reviews increased by 47%, up to 53 million, and they saw an almost 40% jump in unique monthly visitors. Evidently that was more than enough for investors, as their stock saw a nice jump after hours.

4. Finally, Pandora came out with their Q4 earnings. The streaming music service hit analyst expectations almost exactly, posting $200.8 million in revenue versus an expected $201 million. Earnings per share were $0.11, surpassing the expected $0.08. However, somewhat like LinkedIn, Pandora saw its stock drop sharply due to their 2014 outlook. For Q1, Pandora estimates their revenue will be around $170 million, versus analyst projections of $176 million.

5. The WSJ reports that both MasterCard and Visa will be switching their issued credit cards from magnetic strips to chip-and-pin technology by fall 2015. The system is widespread throughout Europe, but has never gained traction inside the US. That’s largely due to the cost of switching out retailer’s point-of-sale (POS) systems, and US consumers familiarity with the magnetic strip system. However, recent large-scale credit card thefts at stores such as Target and Neiman Marcus seem to have finally prompted action. This week the Senate Judiciary Committee held a special hearing devoted to the issue.

6. A fire in Buenos Aires destroyed one of record management company Iron Mountain’s storage facilities. The center contained Argentina’s central bank records, along with corporate account information. Nine first responders were killed attempting to put out the blaze.

Have a great weekend, and make sure to check back next week for the latest in B2B news, along with original research and reports.