Tom Gardner’s “#1 stock across the entire Motley Fool universe right now?”

Quick check on Tom Gardner's latest fave

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, March 5, 2013

Dozens of folks have been asking me about this latest teaser for “Motley Fool One”, which is yet another Motley Fool service that aims to upgrade folks’ relationship with the Fool — they’ve progressed to running “real money” portfolios in recent years, investing the Fool’s own corporate portfolio, and having more interactive stuff like the Motley Fool Supernova service and professional management of assets through the Motley Fool mutual funds.

This one, Motley Fool One, sounds like it’s sort of an “all in one” service, which access to all the Fool analysts, but also somewhat of a personalized service, perhaps offering more of a financial planning kind of service for investors. Not sure I understand it particularly well, but the latest ad for this service for “1 in 100 investors” (I think y’all are one in a million, personally) is hinting at the “#1 Stock Across the Motley Fool Universe” …

And I thought you’d like to know what it is.

Don’t worry, I won’t make you sit through the hints and cluse this time.

So yes, it’s the same stock that Jeremy Phillips was teasing about a month ago — and while I was skeptical of the company and not all that interested personally, that sure turned out to be a missed opportunity for me. The stock was and is LinkedIn (LNKD), and it announced blockbuster earnings, and everyone is in love with this $20 billion company that has now climbed almost 50% in less than a month.

Holy crap.

Well, you can’t catch ’em all. I thought LNKD was too expensive before, and clearly it has grown ever more expensive now. You have to assume a high level of continued growth for a very long period of time to like this price, though that doesn’t mean such growth is impossible — or that investors won’t continue to be excited about an expensive stock (just look at to see how long a company with no earnings can go up and up and up based just on revenue growth and potential growth).

So … feel free to share your thoughts (or gloat) with a comment below if you were a lot more excited about LNKD than I was. The original article I shared on them in early February is here.

P.S. Gardner’s other stock that he’s touting as a foundational one for this Motley Fool One service is Starbucks (SBUX), which I would be a lot more comfortable with and have come close to buying myself on some of the dips in recent years — haven’t actually bought, unfortunately, but it’s an incredible and growing brand. That could be sour grapes, or it could just be that I like being a Starbucks customer, and I don’t particularly like using LinkedIn — we all bring our own baggage with us to the airport when we choose which stock to fly.

Share Your Thoughts

ShowHide Comments (46)
    1. Tom Simpson
      Mar 4 2013, 10:45:29 pm

      I love both Facebook and Linkden. Facebook keeps me up to date with my friends grandchildren and pets. Nice to see what my high school buds are up to. I believe LNKD will become one of the all time greatest stocks.

        • Karen Brown
          Mar 5 2013, 10:56:04 pm

          I am sorry, but I have to agree with you. I do not like facebook or any of this other stuff the whole herd is flocking to. There is just way too much exposure for me to be comfortable with, and I have a lot better ways to spend my time, my life. Undoubtedly a lot of these people that post are not busy building a business! I had to get on there because of one of my businesses, and I have a secret group that I try to go in and post to once a week, other than that, it would drive me insane with all the drivel.

          • Louis Blasiotti
            Mar 9 2013, 04:31:24 pm

            The software being developed is sorely in need of a quality control team. I will not purchase Facebook based on the poor quality of the web site. Just my opinion.

    2. Joe Clarke
      Mar 5 2013, 08:33:37 am

      I remember when the Motley Stools were touting NFLX the only stock to buy when it was at $ 300 and Apple was a steal at $ 700 Jeez how did that turn out ?

      • John Harris
        Mar 5 2013, 09:12:39 am

        Motley (I think it was Tom) recommended Netflix at about $10 and I bought 100 shares. One of their best recos ever. I sold most after its peak on the way down about $250 but still hold a dozen shares just for fun. But Linkden – no way I would ever touch that or facebook but likely not based on good stock picking but on my opinion that they are both total wastelands for those with nothing better to do in life. Likely my disdain for social networking will have me miss the run in Linkeden – but at least I am in good company with Travis.

    3. 32
      Cathy Kandravi
      Mar 5 2013, 08:52:13 am

      Travis you are good and refreshing as always thanks for the morning brew but I will make my own, I was thinking of maybe the Motley Fools had a new copy machine you just print your idea in and a cup of java came out. Just kidding Travis for other news I got on this site called buins/shortsqueeze check it out if you have not seen it is pretty good for me so far, but don’t take my word , I use it for swing trades not the buy and holds. Thanks for all you do the honesty you bring with out the drama is cool.

      • Lighteredknot
        Mar 5 2013, 03:26:39 pm

        Few years back; I did not think people would actually buy water and nor would they pay more for a cup of coffee than for a gallon of gasoline. Gone surreal.

    4. Joe Clarke
      Mar 5 2013, 09:10:09 am

      I may have been abit to hard on the fools if the did tout NFLX in the teens what date and what newsletter if you can let me know ?

    5. Sharon Logue
      Mar 5 2013, 09:31:13 am

      Thanks so much Travis. I know my mind goes into endless loop with their promotions, and they keep overwriting the same one over and over again, just changing the ticker. Their kids seem to have the magic to show Dad the next path to 10 baggers, so i thought it was netflix again. Linked in is popular with a friend of mine who is a recruiter. It has replaced Career path, Monster etc. So, if you are not looking for a job, or if you are not a recruiter, it may seem irrelevant. The pictures are probably 20 years old, and the information isn’t verified, but someone must be using it. Does it translate languages? It sure seems to me it’s more of a language driven service, like a dating site, so to speak.

    6. Joe Clarke
      Mar 5 2013, 09:36:24 am

      OKay here are some long shots I would welcome any an all comments s,nok,mtg,usu,aig,aeg,cfn,kog,qcor lng,hnsn, I own them all

    7. David Chen
      Mar 5 2013, 11:29:12 am

      LinkedIn is a professional network site, and it does what it intend to: hook up people with specific skills with employer looking for such skill. LinkedIn is Job-site 2.0 whereas Monster was ver.1.0. I work in the finance sector and since the market crash of 08/09 i personally know of more than 30 former colleagues and professional acquaintances who got new jobs through LinkedIn. I too, landed my current job through LinkedIn (within 3 weeks) after my employer went chapter 7 in mid 2012. LinkedIn know how to make money, mostly from employers/recruiters paying to use its serach apps. So I can vouch LinkedIn is legit, and many many real people use it to find real jobs with success. With that said, I did not and will not buy LinkedIn stock… to me, it is a great race horse being valuated at the level of a unicorn who also recite poems — unrealistically exuberant multiple. My daughter believed in unicorn for about 8 years before she realized it was make believe, it was wonderful while she believed it, but untimately it ain’t real; now all she want is a real pony.

      • 3984 |
        Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
        Mar 5 2013, 12:02:48 pm

        David, I love that description — might have to steal it in the future: “runs like a great racehorse, valued like a unicorn.” Perfect!

        • Peter Pappas
          Mar 5 2013, 12:50:55 pm

          Hold on, before you get into pretty speech make sure people know what you are really saying. A race horse implies solid, dedicated and determined. A Unicorn implies something nice that is not seen.
          So are you saying it is a good race horse stock that others cannot see it value yet – or are you saying it is a good race horse stock that is – what – a myth that doesn’t really exist and therefore valueless?
          I was confused the first time I read it and now you are going to apply it to express an oinion, please make sure to clarify flowery speech as some people (like me – lol) may not get it if it can mean two opposite things at the same time!

            • David Chen
              Mar 5 2013, 02:19:53 pm

              Good point, Peter. Please let me clearify, I wrote that tongue-in-cheek phrase to provide contrast on just the “intrinsic value” (liken to racehorse) vs. “market valuation” (liken to unicorn) of LNKD. A great racehorse is perhaps worth approx. $5M-$10M. A Unicorn on the other hand, if one such specimen exist, surely could easily be worth hundreds of millions (or more if you ask an 8 yrs old girl who believes). My point was that LNKD is a great company worth a lot, but its current valuation got way beyond what it really is intrinsically, into the unrealistically exuberant (high) multiple (P/E at 910+ as of today). In my humble opinion LNKD cannot match or earn anywhere near that Pricing optimism even if every working American change their job every year for the next 10 years through LNKD jobsite. 🙂

    8. David Chen
      Mar 5 2013, 11:40:46 am

      by the way, Fool did recommend NFLX years back. I bought 500 shares of NFLX based on Fools recommendation, averaged $17/share, sat on it for 3-4 years, sold it at $170, $200, and $230. That’s from 8k to 100k in 4 years. The old Fools really knew how to pick’em, they just didn’t know when to sell them. Newer Fools are… meh, so so.

    9. Harry Kobetitsch
      Mar 5 2013, 11:49:31 am

      Whenever things go bad with a stock they cry “it’s a long term investment”. Let me refer you to their continous touting of RVBD. How’s that working out? Looks more like a range trading stock than a growth stock. Bouncing between 14 & 28.

    10. Mike McCulley
      Mar 5 2013, 11:54:35 am

      A recent hook from MF is a long winded tease is about the ‘Ultimate Wireless Winner”. . . I listened and that stock is a MUST have. . . but you first need to pony up at least $150 to join their Rule Breaker Stock Service. Thinking what the heck, I went ahead and was charged $300 and the ‘must have was a stock I already have. . . AMT.

      Called them and they promptly reduced/corrected the rate. Am thinking I will hang in there for the 30 trial at least. . .

    11. 15 |
      Mar 5 2013, 12:45:27 pm

      Joe: QCOR and its sole drug Acthar. Qcor is the equivalent of Mr. Toads wild ride. 45% of its’ stock is short. It is a ONE HIT WONDER. It has plenty o’ critics. Two great articles, 1st is balanced, 2nd from CITRON (vested interest in shorting stocks, not objective, but definitely interesting.)
      I bought a ticket, but it’s a small position. On the plus side financials are a ++ and Acthar is having a broader range applicability (such as adrenal insufficiency and ms). On the negative side its an old drug “rediscovered” and resold and not capable of being patented. Charging whopping prices resulted in some insurance carriers not covering Acthar such as Aetna. Oh, and QCOR is being investigated for advertising the drug without running clinical trials even though the drug is grand-fathered and technically doesn’t have to run the trials. QCOR has already seen a big run-up too.
      Since its earnings release 26FEB13, QCOR appears to be being manipulated down to cover the calls. How well it pops will depend on how tightly folks are willing to hold on to it.
      This one you gotta be willing to enjoy the ride….whereever it might take you. I give it a thumbs up and freely admit it’s speculative.

    12. Wendy Sullivan
      Mar 5 2013, 01:32:15 pm

      What are the 3 stocks Mötley Fool was touting for cloud computing?
      I’d love to find out.
      Thank you
      Wendy Sullivan

      • Viktor
        Sep 2 2014, 11:54:06 am

        As a current Rackspace private cloud customer, I’d short them if I were into shorting stocks. They’re far from the worst in the cloud space. But they’re stumbling with Openstack in ways that are surprising.

    13. Gileb
      Mar 6 2013, 03:07:17 am

      At present P/E ratio (+900) , it’s only enthousiasme on tech sector miracle to support share’s price. No rational or DD fundamentals can back it up. BUT…. there is one.

      If you are in professional activities (target customer), and you can use fast growing services and paying membership (level 1), you can beleive that LNKD just start leading the recruiting industry and worldwide connections between professionals.

      My 25 years experiences in Human Resources – HR, and member on Linked In for few years, i can tell you that LNKD became a must for all recruiters, professionals groups and companies to have exclusives informations/employment and qualification back ground. For example, in last 12 months, HR and engineer groups grows over 10,000 every months each one. I also see Professional Order creating group on Lnkd for their members and it’s paid services. Based on their principles to serves and link worlwide professionals, they act like RIM does when they put Blackberry on the market (Target customer with money, and offer exclusive product they can trust).

      As long as LNKD will stand on theses principles and professionals/companies will trust and see more exclusives/accessibles services at good price, this stock will stick on enthousiasme. We could see LNKD keep a very high P/E ratio (over 200 easily) for a year and more.

      • Penny
        Mar 9 2013, 11:30:54 pm

        I have to agree with you, Gileb. In my former position as a pre-employment background checker at a leading national HR verifier, LinkedIn was useful for checking details (albeit self-reported) of people I was trying to interview for references, or who were the subject of the verification. Since there’s a strong possibility that one’s supervisors/coworkers and former supervisors/coworkers are also on LinkedIn, I think the reporting is fairly accurate.
        It’s also a great site for networking, especially with those former coworkers.
        When Motley Fool touted the stock last year, I did go ahead and buy a (modest) stake in LNKD. And if any of you out there know when I should sell – please tell me!

        • Kevin
          Mar 16 2013, 10:34:57 pm

          I think the story for LNKD is a long-term one. They really are changing the way companies recruit. HR shops are jumping ship from the usual job boards like Monster and Careerbuilder and replacing them with LinkedIn.

          In terms of selling, all it will take is one slightly less than stellar quarter, and the stock will pull back drastically. But if anything that might be a chance to buy more. You might consider a stop order on your position if you are nervous. It’s a good long-term holding, but you can protect your gains, and then look for another entry point.

    14. Mike Sanders
      Mar 7 2013, 02:25:21 am

      I was once told that the definition of a long term investment is a short term investment gone bad, still applies.
      I love this site Travis and thanks for all of the information, thanks also to the subscribers and their pithy comments (no I don’t have a lisp)

    15. White Rabbit
      Mar 9 2013, 02:31:19 am

      After reading your Feb post on LNKD and all the posted negative Replies, I decided to put on a short (option) position just before earnings; what a mistake that was! High fliers have their day in the sun, but if there is no real value, sooner or later they will roll over. Even good companies with value (like AAPL) roll over and come tumbling down when over hyped. As for LNKD, don’t fight the tape – go with the flow for now. But when it does roll over be quick to buy Puts or Bear Put spreads. An outright short is much to expensive and much too risky for me.
      As a new reader of stockgumshoe, I really enjoy your analyses, and the way you cut through all the promotional hype. Keep up the good work!

    16. Don X
      Mar 9 2013, 11:44:28 am

      I recently read an article that recruiters are taking recommendations made on LNKD with a grain of salt. People are recommending their acquaintances for skills they don’t have and never claimed to have. However, some are using the recommendations as a springboard for further inquiry in their hiring interviews.

      • Gileb
        Mar 9 2013, 05:10:40 pm

        Some recommandations are relevant, but main inquiries are on previous jobs handled, responsabilities and professionnal certifications. If profil fit, Interviews on those subjects can easily show the real candidat your might have to deal with.

      • ben otto
        Mar 10 2013, 12:59:28 am

        P.S. That is said joking but should have maybe not said that “SORRY” if FB can’t monetize how the heck is LinkedIn going toooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    17. Kevin
      Mar 16 2013, 10:28:14 pm

      The value of LinkedIn is in finding the passive candidates – the qualified people who aren’t actively looking, but if a recruiter can connect with them via LinkedIn, and then offer them an interesting enough position, they might be open to changing jobs. This happens all the time, and with increasing frequency. From a recruiting point of view, LinkedIn multiplies the pool of talent exponentially. And their international reach is growing as well. I like the stock and it’s one of my highest conviction holdings.

      And if you are interested in getting more specifics on the Motley Fool One service, including pricing, try my website:

    18. 35 |
      Subhash Garg
      Jun 14 2013, 03:11:56 am

      LinkedIn is a recruiter’s dream and a networking bonanza. Their single-minded focus on career distinguishes them from Facebook and keeps operating costs MUCH lower than them. They have a great revenue model: you get to build your network for free but you have to pay for meaningful communication. Plus they have online recommendations and references and a full career history. LinkedIn is a money maker. Facebook is way overhyped.

    19. Chet Maxwell
      Aug 20 2013, 10:39:31 am

      It looks like a lot of people here are bashing Facebook. I tend to agree with most of the arguments listed here, BUT I have a friend who does commerce thru Facebook. He has been doing custom knives and spurs and has had his products listed on all of the internet commerce mediums(EBay, his own website, other related ‘cowboy commerce websites) and his biggest successes come from Facebook. I would take a closer look at Facebook as I think it is morphing into a variety of money generating venues. Granted, my friends business is hardly a blip on the screen but it made me sit up and pay attention. I think Zuckerberg has laid the groundwork and now is monetizing the website brilliantly.

    20. 35 |
      Subhash Garg
      Feb 2 2015, 04:03:21 am

      LinkedIn will outperform Facebook because it has paying customers – recruiters – and it is also a social network, which helps you keep in touch with your professional network. Facebook is annoying — fills your screen with irrelevant pics from acquaintances — hence no good for the small screen, where instagram, snapchat etc. are eating its lunch.

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