LinkedIn smashes Q4 expectations with 81 percent revenue growth from 2011

Summary:With more than 202 million members and counting, LinkedIn boasts that it now adds "approximately two members per second."

Expectations were high for LinkedIn's fourth quarter earnings report, and the Mountain View, Calif.-based business delivered big time after the bell on Thursday.

The professional social network reported fourth quarter earnings of $11.5 million, or 10 cents a share (statement). Non-GAAP earnings were 35 cents a share on a revenue of $303.6 million -- up by 81 percent from the same quarter last year.

Wall Street was expecting LinkedIn to report fourth quarter earnings of 19 cents a share on revenue of $279.5 million.

Immediately after the earnings report was published, LinkedIn shares were up 11 percent in after hours trading.

For 2012 overall, LinkedIn's revenue increased by 86 percent to $972.3 million with non-GAAP earnings of 89 cents per share.

Describing 2012 as a "transformative year," CEO Jeff Weiner explained further in prepared remarks:

We exited 2011 having successfully revamped our underlying development infrastructure. Based on that investment, we said that 2012 would be a year of accelerated product innovation, and it was. The products we delivered throughout the year drove member engagement and financial results to record levels in the fourth quarter.

For the outlook, LinkedIn's forecast is actually much more ambitious when compared with analyst expectations. The social networking company is projecting Q1 revenue to fall between $305 million and $310 million.

Wall Street is expecting first quarter earnings of 23 cents a share on revenue of $301 million.

For the full year, LinkedIn is planning on revenue to fall within a range of $1.41 billion to $1.44 billion. Wall Street is looking for earnings of $1.28 a share on revenue of $1.44 billion.

zdnet-linkedin-q4-2012-company-metrics

More highlights from LinkedIn's fourth quarter of 2012:

  • Ended the quarter and the year with approximately 202 million members. LinkedIn boasted that it adds "approximately two members per second."
  • More than 64 percent of LinkedIn members now come from international markets.
  • Products: Revamped the personal profile interface and introduced the Influencers program
  • Revenue from Premium Subscriptions products: $59.4 million -- a 79 percent increase from Q4 2011
  • Premium Subscriptions accounted for 20 percent of total revenue in both of the fourth quarters of 2012 and 2011.

Screenshot via LinkedIn Investor Relations

Topics: Social Enterprise, Apps, Collaboration, IT Employment

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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