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LinkedIn Corp. Soars on Earnings Beat

By Timothy Green - Oct 30, 2015 at 11:40AM

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The professional social network handily beat analyst estimates, and its guidance calls for strong growth to continue.

What: Shares of professional social network LinkedIn ( LNKD.DL ) jumped on Friday following the company's third-quarter earnings report. LinkedIn beat analyst estimates on all fronts by a significant margin, and its guidance for the fourth quarter was above analyst expectations. At 11 a.m. Friday, the stock was up about 12.5%.

So what: LinkedIn reported quarterly revenue of $780 million, up 37% year-over-year and about $24 million higher than analysts were expecting. The Talent Solutions segment generated $502 million of revenue, growing by 46% year-over-year. Marketing Solutions generated $140 million of revenue, up 28% year-over-year, while Premium Subscriptions brought in $138 million, up 21%.

Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.78, up from $0.52 during the same period last year and $0.32 higher than the average analyst estimate. GAAP EPS declined to a loss of $0.31, worse than a loss of $0.03 during the same period last year. Heavy use of stock-based compensation is responsible for the discrepancy.

"LinkedIn achieved strong performance across all three product lines during the quarter," said CFO Steve Sordello. "We remain focused on pursuing long-term investments to achieve future growth and increased profitability."

Now what: LinkedIn expects fourth-quarter revenue to be between $845 million and $850 million, mostly above analyst expectations of $845.9 million. LinkedIn's guidance for non-GAAP EPS in the fourth quarter is $0.74, about $0.07 above the average analyst estimate.

LinkedIn put together a solid quarter, easily beating expectations. Expenses are rising quickly, pushing down GAAP earnings, but the company is investing heavily in its long-term growth. "This is an exciting period for LinkedIn as our product innovation takes root with complete redesigns of both our flagship mobile app and recruiter platform." Sordello said. "We will continue to focus on areas that drive the greatest long-term business impact, while scaling our platform to create the most value for our members and customers."

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