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Will Wall Street Single Out LinkedIn Again This Earnings Season?

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LinkedIn Corporation NYSE:LNKD, Apple Inc. NASDAQ:AAPL - Will Wall Street Single Out LinkedIn Again This Earnings Season?

LinkedIn Corp LNKD 3.78% reports earnings on Thursday after the market close, and Q4’s major disappointment is still fresh on the minds of shareholders.

Wall Street analysts seem to be particularly hard on LinkedIn compared to its large tech peers when it comes to earnings. Following LinkedIn’s disappointing Q4, the stock was immediately downgraded by Cowen & Co, JP Morgan, Raymond James, BMO, RBC, SunTrust, Susquehanna, Atlantic and Monness Crespi. Morgan Stanley and Barclays followed up with their own downgrades in following weeks.

This quarter, many of the biggest tech stocks have delivered similarly disappointing Q1 earnings, but Wall Street generally hasn’t been quick to pull the trigger on downgrades. Apple Inc. AAPL 2.42% delivered a huge earnings miss that sent the stock tumbling more than 6.2 percent. Despite the fact that only one out of 48 analysts rating the stock already had a Sell/Underperform rating on Apple prior to the earnings miss, the stock received just one notable post-earnings downgrade by Oppenheimer to Perform.

Related Link: Oppenheimer: Apple Downgraded, Analysts 'Questioning' Their Faith

Even Twitter, which plummeted 16.2 percent following earnings, only drew three downgrades.

Unfortunately for LinkedIn shareholders, analysts are still generally bullish on the stock and there is plenty of room for more downgrades if the company disappoints once again. Of the 46 analysts covering the stock, there is only one Underperform/Sell rating already in place.

If LinkedIn generates another disappointing report and Wall Street is as unforgiving again this quarter as it was last quarter, look for analysts to punish the stock much harder than they have Apple or Twitter.

Disclosure: the author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.

DateFirmActionFromTo
Apr 2016MKM PartnersDowngradesBuyNeutral
Apr 2016Credit SuisseMaintainsOutperform
Apr 2016CitigroupMaintainsNeutral

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