LinkedIn 4Q Beats Street, Shares Up

By Features FOXBusiness

LinkedIn (LNKD) weighed in with better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on Thursday, giving a boost to shares in trading after the bell.

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The social networking site posted net income of $6.92 million, or 6 cents a share, up from last year’s net income of $1.58 million, or 3 cents a share. On an adjusted basis, the company saw earnings of 12 cents a share, up from 5 cents, one year ago.

Revenue rose to $167.7 million, compared with year-ago revenue of $81.7 million.

The results handily topped expectations, as the Street was expecting adjusted earnings of 7 cents a share on revenue of $159.72 million, according to an analyst poll by Thomson Reuters.

LinkedIn said its total membership increased to 150 million, as premium subscriptions revenue rose 87% to $33.3 million, representing 20% of total quarterly revenue. Revenue from hiring solutions products rose 136% to $84.9 million, and marketing solutions revenue improved 77% compared to the year-ago quarter to $49.5 million.

The fourth quarter "once again exceeded our expectations for member engagement and business growth. It was a fitting end to a memorable year in which we reinforced our position as the pre-eminent professional network on the web," said Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, in a statement. "We believe continued focus on our members and technology infrastructure positions us well for accelerated product innovation in 2012."

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LinkedIn gave first-quarter revenue guidance in the range of $170 million to $175 million, mostly above the Street’s forecast for  revenue of $171 million, and the company predicted first-quarter adjusted earnings would fall between $25 million to $27 million.

For the full-year, the company forecast revenue between $840 million and $860 million, well above the Street’s view of $828.2 million. The professional online networking service expects fiscal 2012 adjusted earnings to be in the range of $155 million and $165 million.

Shares of LinkedIn fell slightly on Thursday, down 15 cents to close the day at $76.39.  The stock was up $3.02, or 4%, in after-hours trading.

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