LinkedIn Corp. reported stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings and sales on Thursday, as it continued to grow premium membership and sold more recruiting tools and sponsored content. The professional social network recorded a far worse loss compared with the year-earlier period, with its total loss falling to $119 million, or 89 cents a share, compared with a loss of $68 million, or 53 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. But excluding one-time costs, such as stock-based compensation, the company reported non-GAAP earnings of $1.13 a share, beating the 78-cent consensus estimate on FactSet. Revenue for the period rose to $932.7 million from $712 million in the year-earlier period, beating the Street view of $899 million. Shares of LinkedIn rose 0.3% to $192.57 in after-hours trade. The stock has risen 54% in the past three months, far outperforming the S&P 500 , which is up just 5.5%. Most of those gains occurred after Microsoft Corp. announced plans in June to buy LinkedIn for $26 billion.
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