LinkedIn Corp Announces Acquisition as It Reports Revenue Jumped 47%

Today, LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD  ) reported that its revenue rose 47% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, to $447 million. Net income fell from $11.5 million to $3.8 million as its costs rose from $277 million to $436 million, an increase of 57%. However, the company noted that a big contributor to the increased costs was higher stock-based compensation, which climbed from $27.6 million to $57.2 million.

"Solid fourth quarter performance capped another successful year where improvements in scale and relevance across our platform led to strong member engagement," said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner. "Moving forward, we are investing significantly in a focused number of long-term initiatives that will allow us to realize our vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce."

The company did highlight that, on a non-GAAP basis, factoring out its stock-based compensation, as well as accounting costs related to the amortization of acquired assets, its net income rose 20% year over year from $40.2 million to $48.2 million. 

For the full year of 2013, LinkedIn saw its revenue rise to $1.5 billion from $972 million in 2012, and its earnings per share rise from $0.19 to $0.23. On a non-GAAP basis, adjusting for the aforementioned costs, its earnings per share stood at $0.89 in 2012, and $1.16 in 2013. In 2013, the company had $194 million in stock-based compensation, versus $86 million in 2012.

The strong gains were seen across each of its business segments, as Talent Solutions revenue rose 53%, to $246 in the fourth quarter, Market Solutions rose to $114 million, or 36%, and Premium Subscriptions increased by 48%, to $88 million.

"We ended 2013 in a strong position across engagement and monetization, and we are investing aggressively in 2014 for both our member and customer platforms," concluded CFO Steve Sordello in the earnings announcement.

The example of aggressive investment was seen just moments later, as LinkedIn also announced it had acquired Bright, a data and insights company used to match candidates for potential employers, for $120 million.

"We're excited to join LinkedIn because the company shares a similar vision and is equally obsessed about using data and algorithms to connect prospects and employers," said Bright's founder, Eduardo Vivas.

"What LinkedIn does best is connect talent with opportunity at massive scale," added LinkedIn's Senior Vice President of Products and User Experience, Deep Nishar. "By leveraging Bright's data-driven matching technology, machine-learning algorithms and domain expertise, we can accelerate our efforts and build out the Economic Graph."

The transaction will be made with approximately $32.4 million in cash (27%), and the remainder will be financed using LinkedIn stock. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of this year.


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