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VRX – February 22, 2015

VRX reported fourth-quarter 2014 cash earnings per share of $2.58 (excluding special items and non-cash expenses), up from the year-ago figure of $2.15 per share. Excluding stock-based compensation expense, earnings per share came in at $2.57. Revenues for the quarter soared 10.5% year over year to $2.3 billion.

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Product sales at Valeant amounted to $2.2 billion during the fourth quarter, up 10% year over year. Overall, same-store sales organic growth was 16% . Organic growth from Bausch+Lomb came in at 8%. Research & development expenses were relatively flat year over year at $59.1 million, while selling, general & development expenses increased 16.5% to $524.5 million.

Valeant said Thursday that it expects this year’s revenue will be 14-15 per cent higher than in 2014 and that earnings and cash flow will grow at an even faster pace. The Laval-based company estimates 2015 revenue of between US$9.2 billion and US$9.3 billion, up from an estimated US$8.1 billion last year.

The company also estimates 2015 cash earnings per share of between US$10.10 and US$10.40 per share, up from an estimated US$8.32 in 2014. Cash flow from operations will be above US$3.1 billion, compared with about US$2.5 billion in 2014.

The latest projections from the Montreal-area company were slightly ahead of analyst expectations. Thomson Reuters data indicates analysts had estimated 2015 revenue of about US$9.1 billion and US$10.06 per share in earnings.

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CSCO – February 12, 2015

Cisco released it 2015 second quarter results. EPS was $0.53. Sales were $11.9 billion. That’s an all-around beat. Analysts were expecting revenue of $11.8 billion, a healthy almost 6% increase from the year-ago quarter of $11.16 billion. Cisco handily beat that, growing the top line by 7%. Analysts were looking for earnings per share of 51 cents, up from 47 cents in the year-ago quarter. Again, a two-cent beat. Cisco also raised its quarterly dividend to $0.21/share.

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COLM – February 12, 2015

Columbia Sportswear Company last released its earnings data on Thursday, February 12th. The company reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $676.96 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $634.35 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.21 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 27.0% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Columbia Sportswear Company will post $1.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 19th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 5th will be given a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.38%.

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LNKD – February 6, 2015

LNKD earnings results highlighted the growing stickiness and network effect of the platform. As the only SNS play with a niche focus on business professionals, LNKD’s first mover advantage and network effect allows the company to achieve above peer engagement level.

This translated into strong financial metrics that are supported by robust underlying operating metrics. I remain bullish on LNKD in that its ex-China business is likely to see ongoing strength in its growth profile but I am more bullish on LNKD’s China segment given LNKD is the only established US SNS platform that has entry into China and has seen solid user growth over the past couple quarters.

The lack of a meaningful local competitor in China allows LNKD to scale its business model and replicate its North American success as the Chinese private sector begins to look to LNKD for hiring solutions.

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Revenue of $643m +44% y/y, beat consensus $618m driven by Talent Solutions that saw revenue grew 41% y/y to $369m and adjusted EBITDA of $179m also came above consensus of $154m. LNKD attracted over 15m users during the quarter to grow the total user base to 347m and 138m unique visitors, indicating 40% monthly engagement level. Most important, LNKD added 3k corporate solution customers to 33k total, highlighting the platform’s appeal to corporate customers by leveraging its strong network effect. While monthly ARPU was slightly lower at $3,872, I believe that near-term erosion in pricing power is necessary to attract additional corporate customers onto its platform to build the stickiness and future monetization.

The most encouraging part of the earnings is the improving metrics in Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions and Sales Navigator. The stock was up 10% after earnings mostly because 2015 is starting to shape up to be another banner year for LNKD as it expands its current 33k corporate customer base in a pool of over 750k customers.

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DIS – February 4, 2015

On Tuesday, February 3, DIS reported phenomenal first-quarter earnings. By growing revenue 8.8% year over year, from $12.3 billion to $13.4 billion, the company blew past analyst estimates of $12.9 billion by nearly 4%. On a diluted earnings-per-share basis the results were even better, as the company handily topped both last year’s figure of $1.04 and analyst expectations of $1.07 by reporting a figure of $1.27. In all, a great report for the House of Mouse.

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If there was one slight negative, it had to be the performance of its Cable Networks division. Although the division reported an 11% revenue increase, going from $3.76 billion to $4.17 billion, operating income in Cable Networks dropped 2% on a year-over-year basis as the company pointed toward higher NFL costs as the culprit. Fortunately for investors, the decrease was offset by an increase in its Broadcasting division; The New York Times credits syndication of Criminal Minds and Scandal for the increase there.

Still, for those who carefully follow the company, any decrease in the Cable Networks division should be closely followed. For the uninitiated, that’s where the crown jewel of Disney resides: ESPN. For perspective, even after this quarter’s poor results, Cable Networks still commands 35.4% of Disney’s total operating income, down from 42.3% in last year’s prior quarter. Simply put, Disney needs its Cable Networks revenue to outpace its costs of content to continue to reward shareholders, and it needs cable subscribers to (mostly) pay for it.

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TWTR – February 6, 2015

TWTR reported its earnings for Q4 2014 on 5 Feb 2015, after market hours. The microblogging site beat revenue and EPS estimates by a huge margin, driving the stock price 9% higher, to $45 a share in after-hours trade. Twitter’s performance was rather disappointing on metrics such as user growth and engagement. However, Twitter reported a strong financial performance, the highlight being a significant improvement in profitability. Twitter valuations continue to be steep post Q4.

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Twitter beat analyst estimates by a huge margin in Q4 2014. Twitter beat revenue estimates by about $26 million. The microblogging site delivered a much needed huge surprise on the earnings front, doubling expectations of adjusted EPS.

Twitter Earnings Q4 2014 Estimates Actuals YoY Growth
Twitter Revenue ($ million) 453 479 6%
Twitter Earnings Per Share – $ (adjusted) 0.06 0.12 100%

Twitter also stomped past its own guidance for Q4. Twitter’s revenue guidance for Q4 was $440 to $450 million, a little lower than analyst estimates. Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortization) came in at $141.5 million, way ahead of its guidance of $100 to $105 million. Twitter’s adjusted EBITDA margin came in at 29.5%.

Twitter registered a revenue of $479 million, growing at 97% YoY (over Q4 2013), way faster than the higher end of its Q4 guidance of 85%, surprising the street. In its previous earnings call, the management indicated that its guidance would be more accurate this time around and urged analysts not to expect Q4 revenue numbers to diverge significantly from its guidance.

Twitter earned a little over 90% of its revenue from advertising, and the balance from data licensing and other revenue streams. Twitter’s monetization remained strong on mobile, earnings the company 88% of its ad revenue. Twitter earned about 34% of its revenue outside the US.

Though Twitter’s growth slowed in percentage terms, its absolute revenue addition in Q4 was its highest so far at an addition of $118 million over Q3 revenue.

Twitter’s lack of profitability has been one of its primary criticisms apart from the lack of user growth. Profits are still quite a distance away, in terms of net profits, however, Twitter showed significant improvement in Q4.

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EA – January 28, 2015

Electronic Arts claims it fourth quarter earnings in 2014 were better than anticipated. Exceeding their expectations of $1.27 billion, the publisher’s net revenue instead came in just over $1.428 billion.

EA has been the primary beneficiary of the ongoing shift from physical to digital. The digital business is expected to remain an important growth driver for the company and will offset weak growth in packaged goods. The company expects the digital business (50% of revenues) to continue to grow in fiscal 2015, primarily driven by strong growth in mobile business.

Much of this success was due to the sales of Dragon Age: Inquisition, which EA heralds as developer BioWare’s “most successful launch” in the studio’s history.

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EA saw significant growth in the mobile market as well, achieving 22 million downloads of the mobile game SimCity BuildIt in its December launch month. Both Madden NFL Mobile and FIFA 15 Ultimate Team celebrated a 45 percent increase in active players since the same time in 2013. EA also reports an 82 percent growth in revenue across both games.