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Social Stocks to Watch – FB, ZNGA, RENN, YELP, GRPN, LNKD

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) posted better-than-expected results driven by strong mobile ad revenues, and its stock skyrocketed post-earnings. Facebook reported revenues of $1.8 billion versus consensus expectations of $1.62 billion. Mobile ad revenues of $656 million were way ahead of $454 million consensus estimates causing most of the upside.

Mobile advertisers are achieving good return on investment from newsfeed advertising. This is leading to higher demand as well as higher pricing of the service. Total active advertisers on Facebook reached approximately 1 million in the second quarter of 2013, which is almost a 100% jump from the same quarter a year earlier. The interesting thing is that Facebook achieved this growth in number of advertisers without compromising on pricing. In fact, the price per ad increased 40% in the US and Canada. Also, increasing daily active users and rising engagement also bodes well for Facebook.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares advanced 1.50% to $38.05 in last trading session with traded volume of 73.06 million shares.

Social game maker Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)’s stock took a big hit after an earnings release last week. The earnings were not so much the problem as the announcement that the maker of “FarmVille” would abandon plans for real-money gaming in the United States. Shares fell about 18 percent as investors fled.

Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) shares fell -0.99% to $3.00 in last trading session with traded volume of 12.05 million shares.

The most notable news in Zynga’s earnings release had nothing to do with earnings. The company is no longer pursuing online gambling—a category that Wall Street analysts perceived as having huge potential.

This is a distinct turnaround from the company’s prior stance of pursing the potential for real-money gaming in the U.S., applying for various licenses. This news comes 15 days after Don Mattrick took over as CEO from now-chairman Mark Pincus but sources say the decision wasn’t entirely up to Mattrick — it was the whole executive team and the board.

Renren Inc (NYSE:RENN), an operator of a social networking website, jumped 17 percent last week to $3.78. The Beijing-based company said June 28 its board approved a plan to buy back as much as $100 million of its ADRs within a year.

Renren Inc (NYSE:RENN) shares down -5.03% to $3.78 in last trading session with traded volume of 13.16 million shares.

Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) have all performed stunningly well over the last year. Shares are up an incredible 58%, 360%, and 164%, respectively. Yelp technically has no PE ratio as it continues to lose money. Forward PE is over 200, compared to around 15 for the broader SP 500. Revenue is growing at a rapid pace, and loss per share has dropped significantly, but the company still isn’t profitable.

Besides better-than-expected earnings reports, Yelp bulls have benefited from a persistently high short interest as well as takeover rumors. Yelp’s short interest has fallen, but still remains near 20%. As much as the stock has run, further gains may be likely as Yelp bears are forced to cover their shorts lest they lose their shirts.

Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) shares increased 10.72% to $57.02 in last trading session with traded volume of 12.40 million shares.

Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) has topped analyst EPS estimates. Last quarter, Groupon said its gross billings increased by 4% to $1.4 billion. North American growth of 23% was offset in part by an international decline of -9%.

On a GAAP basis the company reported a loss of -$3.99 million, or -1 cent per share. On an adjusted basis it earned 3 cents per share, which was in line with Wall Street’s expectations. Revenue increased to $601.4 million from $559.3 million, which topped the Wall Street consensus estimate of $590 million.

Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) shares fell -1.58% to $8.70 in last trading session with traded volume of 21.06 million shares.

LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) shares are on the rise, after the company reported second quarter earnings that topped expectations. The professional networking service’s earnings came in above the company’s own typically conservative forecasts. There are now a total of 238 million members on the site, with 20 million being added in the second quarter, a 36 percent increase in membership versus a year ago.

LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) shares boosted 10.60% to $235.58 in last trading session with traded volume of 7.49 million shares.

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Mystic Maggie

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