BUSINESS

LinkedIn posts 3rd-quarter loss but revenue, adjusted earnings beat expectations

10/29/2013 04:33 EDT | Updated 12/29/2013 05:12 EST
NEW YORK, N.Y. - LinkedIn Corp. posted a loss for the third quarter on Tuesday, but the results were stronger than Wall Street expected as the professional networking service boosted its user base and increased revenue.

Such results have become routine for LinkedIn. The company has surpassed analysts' expectations in each of its 10 quarters as a publicly traded company. Its outlook for the current quarter, however, was below estimates and its stock fell in extended trading after the results were released.

LinkedIn lost $3.4 million, or 3 cents per share, in the July-September period compared with earnings of $2.3 million, or 2 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. Adjusted earnings were $46.8 million, or 39 cents per share, in the latest quarter, which beat analysts' expectations by 7 cents.

Revenue rose 56 per cent, to $393 million from $252 million. Analysts predicted $384.8 million, according to FactSet.

For the current quarter, LinkedIn forecast a revenue range of $415 million to $420 million, which is below Wall Street's expectations of $438.9 million. LinkedIn typically lowballs its forecasts.

The company raised its full-year revenue guidance for 2013 to about $1.5 billion, still slightly below analysts' estimates of $1.51 billion.

LinkedIn's membership grew 38 per cent from a year earlier, to 259 million users. The company said its members used the site at record levels on desktop computers and mobile devices.

Advertising accounted for 23 per cent of the quarter's revenue, totalling $88.5 million. That's up 38 per cent from a year earlier. The remainder of the revenue came from subscriptions and fees LinkedIn charges to employers, headhunters and job seekers for special access to its member's profiles and other data.

Shares of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company fell $7.21, or 2.9 per cent, to $239.93 in after-hours trading. The stock had closed Tuesday's regular trading session up $4.14, or 1.7 per cent, at $247.14.

LinkedIn has seen its stock soar 449% since it went public in two years ago at $45 per share. In comparison, Facebook closed at $49.40 on Tuesday, up 30 per cent from its $38 IPO price.