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February 5, 2016updated 04 Sep 2016 10:31pm

Financials in brief: LinkedIn shares plummet on weak forecast, Vodafone sales rise & Toshiba faces bigger losses after accounting scandal

News: LinkedIn discontinues advertising tool Lead Accelarator.

By Vinod

LinkedIn shares tumbled by 28% to $135 in after hours-trade yesterday, the lowest since February 2013, after the professional networking group posted losses in the fourth quarter and presented a weak forecast for 2016.

LinkedIn’s fourth quarter revenue increased 34% year-over-year to $862m, with 2015 annual revenue increasing 35% to $2.99bn. The company, however, posted a loss of $8m in the quarter and $166m for the year.

Revenue for the first quarter of 2016 is estimated to be approximately $820m, with the full-year projection for 2016 estimated at between $3.6bn and $3.65bn, which were both below expectations.

LinkedIn CFO Steve Sordello said: "LinkedIn delivered a strong end to 2015. As we look towards 2016, our focus is on investing intelligently in our core member and customer value propositions to capture the large, addressable opportunity ahead of us."

In its 2016 guidance, the company said that it is discontinuing the advertising tool Lead Accelarator, which was introduced last year.

Meanwhile, Vodafone celebrated a steady progress in its biggest market Europe, with its decline slowing by 0.6% to 6% in the third quarter.

The company, whose group revenue was £10.3bn and Group service revenue was £9.2bn, said its performance remains in line with management’s expectations with annual EBITDA expected to be in a range of £11.7bn to £12bn.

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4G customers in Europe increased 3.8 million in the quarter, to 28.1 million, and total data usage grew 60% year-on-year.

In Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific (AMAP), service revenue increased by 6.5%, against 6.7% in the second quarter.

Voice and data usage in AMAP increased 8% and 78% respectively, and the number of data users increased by 17% year-on-year to 128.7 million.

Vodafone group CEO Vittorio Colao said: "We have taken another step forward in the last three months, with the highlights being a strong performance in South Africa and improving trends in Germany and Italy.

"With seven million new customers in the quarter, we have maintained our good commercial momentum in mobile and are beginning to accelerate in fixed, as we launch converged services in more markets."

Also in the financial tech news was Japanese conglomerate Toshiba, which revised its forecast for the 2015 financial year, with expected losses increasing to 710 billion yen against the previous prediction of 550 billion yen.

The company said its financial base is weakening due to the accounting fraud that surfaced last year. As a result it has decided to execute ‘bold structural reform of unprofitable businesses’ including sale of fixed assets, leading to substantial losses in the third quarter.

Net sales in the third quarter were 1,449 billion yen, down by 160 billion yen year-over-year. Operating loss was 139 billion yen.

The company’s revenues decreased by 301.6 billion yen to 4,421.7 billion yen ($36.54bn), with consolidated operating loss of 229.5 billion yen ($1.9bn) in the first nine months.

Electronic Devices & Components segment sales decreased as the Semiconductor business, Discretes, System LSIs and Memories, and Storage Products segments saw lower sales.


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