LinkedIn Steady Rev Growth Hits $534M

LinkedIn on Thursday reported that revenue rose 47% in the second quarter, with growth in its ad businesses picking up from the prior quarter.

The professional social network had adjusted net income for the quarter of 51 cents a share, compared to 38 cents a share a year ago. Revenue increased to $534 million from $364 million in the year-earlier period.

Wall Street analysts, on average, projected adjusted earnings of 39 cents a share for LinkedIn on revenue of $511 million.

The number of registered LinkedIn users increased to 313 million globally in the second quarter, up from 296 million at the end of Q1.

"We made significant progress against several key strategic priorities, including increasing the scale of job opportunities on LinkedIn; expanding our professional publishing platform; and continuing the strategic shift towards content marketing through Sponsored Updates," said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, in the earnings release.

Sales from LinkedIn’s premium subscriptions business increased 49% to $322 million, or 60% of overall revenue. Marketing Solutions -- its advertising division -- rose 44% to $106 million, or 20% of overall revenue. That marks an increase from 36% growth in the first quarter. Revenue from LinkedIn’s subscription business contributed $105 million, a 44% gain from a year ago.

Revenue from the U.S. totaled $318 million, or 60% of total revenue, while international markets added $216 million, or 40% of sales.

LinkedIn’s ad business in 2014 is in the process of shifting from traditional display ads and sponsorships to Sponsored Updates, its native ad unit that runs in users’ news feeds on the desktop and mobile. A growing share of ad revenue is also coming from mobile as more users access LinkedIn from handheld devices rather than the desktop.

Sponsored Updates accounted for 28% of overall ad revenue in the second quarter, up from 13% at the end of 2013. 

The company in the first quarter said 43% of its monthly traffic was coming from mobile devices. That figure increased to 45% in the second quarter. The rising share of mobile traffic may be cutting into the company’s desktop audience, however. LinkedIn had 44 million U.S. online visitors in May, down from 49.5 million in January, according to comScore data.

Continuing to bolster its content marketing offerings, LinkedIn since July 1 has acquired Bizo, a business-to-business marketing platform, and Newsle, a startup that tracks mentions of important contacts across social media.

For the current quarter, LinkedIn estimated earnings of about 44 cents a share on revenue between $543 million and $547 million. That tops analyst expectations of 40 cents on sales of $541 million.

LinkedIn shares closed Thursday at $180.64, but were up more than 7% in after-hours trading to $193.77 following its earnings release. 

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