LinkedIn shares rise on better-than-expected earnings forecast

Business Friday 29/April/2016 13:40 PM
By: Times News Service
LinkedIn shares rise on better-than-expected earnings forecast

San Francisco: LinkedIn forecast earnings that beat estimates on improved performance from its main recruiting tools, suggesting a surprise slowdown earlier this year was not as dire as analysts feared.
The operator of the largest online professional network said second-quarter profit, excluding some items, will be from 74 cents to 77 cents a share. That beat the 71-cent average analyst estimate.
First-quarter earnings topped expectations by a wide margin and the company raised its full-year revenue guidance to $3.65 billion to $3.70 billion, from an earlier range of $3.6 billion to $3.65 billion.
“It was a good quarter with demand picking back up with recruiters and advertisers,” said James Cakmak, an analyst with Monness Crespi Hardt & Co.
Earlier this year, LinkedIn said it miscalculated some strategic moves and that the company would grow more slowly than expected, forcing some analysts to reconsider their positive opinions on the stock. That cut its market value almost in half and the shares had not recovered much.
This quarter, the company said a redesign of its mobile apps encouraged people to spend more time on the service.
First-quarter revenue from its Talent Solutions business, the company’s main moneymaker, rose 41 per cent to $558 million as the company sought out large corporate customers that pay to track down potential job candidates. The company said this recruiting service can generate billions more by wooing new clients in markets like health care and staffing.
LinkedIn also saw a record number of job seekers on its service, up 50 per cent from the same period a year earlier. The company plans new offerings, such as salary data, to keep that number growing. It wants to give recruiting customers information on "confirmed hires" to prove their spending on the professional network is producing track-able results.
The company makes 39 per cent of its revenue from sales outside the US, and it’s a rare American social network operating in China. The company said it has 20 million users in the country, up from 10 million in July. That excludes users of a local-language app it created called Chitu.
LinkedIn climbed as much as 16 per cent to $142.89 in extended trading. The shares had declined 45 per cent this year as of Thursday’s close.
Earnings, excluding some items, were 74 cents per share in the first quarter, compared with the 60 cents analysts estimated.