LinkedIn Shares Soar on 1Q Results, SlideShare Acquisition

By FOXBusiness

Professional networking website LinkedIn Corp. (NASDAQ:LNKD) saw first-quarter profit jump more than 100% on steep revenue growth from its hiring solutions and premium subscriptions products, and the company announced the acquisition of presentation-sharing site SlideShare.

Shares of the company jumped in trading after the market closed as LinkedIn boosted its full-year forecast and gave second-quarter guidance that was above expectations. The company now expects full-year revenue in the range of $880 million to $900 million, with adjusted earnings between $170 million and $175 million. That compares with its previous forecast for revenue between $840 million and $860 million and profit between $155 million and $165 million.

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For the fiscal second quarter, the social media company expects revenue between $210 million and $215 million and adjusted earnings in the range of $40 million to $42 million, which is above the Street’s expectations for revenue of $207.93 million.

First-quarter net income came in at $5 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with last year’s first-quarter profit of $2.1 million. Adjusted earnings per share rose to 15 cents, from 6 cents one year ago.

Revenue rose 101% year-over-year, rising to $188.5 million from $93.9 million. The company boasted that this is its seventh-straight quarter of 100% year-over-year revenue growth.

The results beat expectations; analysts had predicted earnings of 9 cents a share on revenue of $178.58 million, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

The social media firm said revenue from its hiring solutions and premium subscription divisions rose 121% and 91% to $102.6 million and $37.9 million, respectively. Revenue from the company's marketing solutions segment rose 73% year-over-year, to $48 million.

"LinkedIn's solid performance in the first quarter built on the company's momentum in 2011," said Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, in a release. "We saw strength across all key metrics from member signups and engagement to significant revenue growth across our three product lines."

The company also announced Thursday that it will acquire professional content and presentation-sharing site SlideShare for $118.75 million, through a 45% cash, 55% stock transaction.

LinkedIn shares rose 2.9% in Thursday’s session, closing at $109.50. The stock jumped more than 11% after the results were announced and are up about 16% since the IPO last May. The stock is up about 74% since the beginning of the year.

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