LinkedIn Revenue Up 45% In Q3

LinkedIn on Thursday reported that revenue rose 45% in the third quarter, but forecast slowing growth in the current quarter in connection with its core recruiting business.

The professional social network had adjusted net income for the quarter of 52 cents a share, compared to 39 cents a share a year ago. Revenue increased to $568.3 million from $364 million in the year-earlier period.

Wall Street analysts polled by FactSet, on average, projected adjusted earnings of 48 cents a share for LinkedIn on revenue of $557.9 million.

The number of registered LinkedIn users increased to 332 million globally in the third quarter — up from 259 million in the year earlier period, and 313 million in the second quarter.

"During the third quarter, we took meaningful steps in increasing the scale and relevance of job listings, growing the professional publishing platform, and expanding our member network in new geographies and demographics,” said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner in the earnings release.

Revenue from LinkedIn’s job-recruiting business, which made up 61% of overall sales, grew 45% to $345 million from a year ago. Sales from premium subscriptions increased 43% to $114 million, and marketing solutions — LinkedIn’s advertising business — rose 45% to $109 million.

Revenue from the U.S. was $343 million — or 60% of total revenue — while international markets added $225 million, or 40% of sales.

The ad gain beat the forecast of 41% growth to $106 million by RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney. In an earnings preview Thursday, he noted that LinkedIn continues to transition to Sponsored Updates — its native ad format that runs in users news feeds—from traditional display advertising.

Sponsored Updates accounted for 31% of overall ad revenue in the third quarter, up from 28% in the prior quarter, and 13% at the end of 2013. During the earnings conference call, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said there was room to improve targeting of the ads, but added he was pleased overall with the rollout of Sponsored Updates so far. 

During the last two years, LinkedIn has focused on building out its content marketing offerings to boost user engagement and expand its ad business. To that end, it has launched its Influencer blog network, acquired the Pulse and Newsle apps, and most recently, bought business-to-business marketing platform Bizo.

Based on internal data, LinkedIn said total page views increased in the third quarter to 28 billion from 22 billion a year ago, and 25 billion in the prior quarter. comScore reported LinkedIn’s desktop traffic globally reached 144 million, up 2% from a year ago, while page views grew 13% to 4.3 billion. Those figures represent an uptick in growth from the prior quarter.

LinkedIn projected fourth-quarter revenue of $600 million to $605 million, which fell below analysts’ average forecast of $611.8 million. The company expects to report an adjusted profit of 49 cents a share in the current quarter.


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