LinkedIn's outlook misses Wall Street estimates

Friday 07 February 2014 17.43
Linkedin to pay $120m for online job search service Bright
Linkedin to pay $120m for online job search service Bright

Social network LinkedIn delivered revenue forecasts that fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

The figures deflated hopes that the high-flying professional social network can sustain its growth streak and sent its stock 8% lower on Wall Street last night.

The social network geared towards connecting professionals with prospective employers also announced it would pay $120m in cash and stock to buy online job search service Bright.

The company said the deal should help improve online matches while broadening its user base.

LinkedIn has beaten top-line targets every quarter since the company went public in 2011.

Its priority is now finding ways to make money out of the company's mobile applications through features such as "sponsored updates," while expanding its user base internationally.

LinkedIn's membership climbed 7% to 277 million worldwide, from 259 million at the end of the third quarter. But that pace slackened slightly from 9% in each of the two previous quarters.
Mobile users now account for 41% of its members, from 38% in the third quarter and a mere 8% in early 2011.

LinkedIn posted a 20% rise in net income to $48.2m in 2013's fourth quarter, on better than expected revenue of $447.2m.

But its revenue outlook for the first quarter and for the full 2014 year both missed analysts' expectations.

It forecast 2014 revenue of between $2.02-$2.05 billion, compared to the average analyst expectation of $2.16 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

For the first quarter, the company's sales outlook of $455-$460m also came in below the $470m expected by analysts.