LinkedIn Easily Tops Estimates In Q3

Professional networking site LinkedIn on Thursday reported revenue increased 81% in the third quarter, with growth in its hiring and subscription services businesses especially strong.

Net income for the quarter was $2.3 million compared with a loss of $1.6 million a year ago. On an adjusted basis, LinkedIn reported a profit of $25.1 million, or 22 cents a share.

Revenue rose to $252 million from $139.5 million in the year-earlier period.

Analysts expected LinkedIn, which now has 187 million members, to report a profit of 11 cents a share on revenue of nearly $243.9 million.

"LinkedIn had a strong third quarter with all of our key operating and financial metrics showing solid growth," said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, said in the earnings release. "The last few months mark the most significant period of product development in the company's history. This accelerated pace of innovation is fundamental to our goal of driving greater engagement on the LinkedIn platform."

Sales from LinkedIn’s recruiting services business nearly doubled to 138.4 million, and represented more than half (55%) of total revenue. Marketing solutions—the advertising unit—saw revenue increase 60% to $64 million, or 25% of overall revenue, while subscriptions sales grew 74% to $49.6 million in the quarter, and made up about 20% of sales.

U.S. revenue reached $162.4 million, and international, $89.7 million.

The company has taken steps to boost engagement, most recently launching redesigned profile pages last month with more visual appeal and simplified page navigation. It also rolled out a blogging platform with high-profile contributors including billionaire Richard Branson, President Obama and Deepak Chopra.

The group of over 150 influencers has attracted a total of 4 million followers on LinkedIn in the last couple of weeks, the company said earlier Thursday. In recent months, LinkedIn has also released a revamped home page, updated mobile apps and company pages, and endorsements, among other features.

In its earnings announcement, LinkedIn said home page traffic has increased 60% since the overhaul in July, and the new home page and notifications had driven “record levels” of comments, shares and likes.

Still, LinkedIn’s overall audience of 39.6 million unique visitors in September was down slightly from 40.9 million in August, according to comScore. And in the third quarter, traffic growth slowed to 25% from 30% in the second quarter, while page view growth fell to 17% from 30%, according to a JPMorgan research note previewing LinkedIn’s results.

Looking ahead, LinkedIn projected revenue for the fourth quarter revenue will range between $270 million to $275 million. For the full year, the company raised its outlook from a range of $915 million to $925 million to $939 million to $944 million.

LinkedIn shares were up 8% to $115.47 in after-hours trading initially following its earnings report.

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