LinkedIn shares tumble following soft Q4 outlook despite Q3 revenue uptick

LinkedIn shares tumble following soft Q4 outlook despite Q3 revenue uptick

Summary: Analysts are going to have a lot of questions this afternoon given the Intro security debacle.

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LinkedIn has had a tumultuous few days leading up to its third quarter earnings report on Tuesday following the introduction of its new Intro service.

Last Wednesday, the professional social network introduced a plugin that essentially brings over user information publicly available on LinkedIn for immediate reference within the iPhone Mail app. The service was designed to support most major email clients, including Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and AOL Mail as well as iCloud and Google Apps.

However, LinkedIn found itself quickly on the defensive over security and privacy concerns -- a topic that is bound to come up during today's quarterly conference call with analysts and investors.

But looking back at the previous three months, LinkedIn reported a net loss of $3.4 million, or three cents per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were 39 cents per share on a revenue of $393 million, up 56 percent on an annual basis.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of 32 cents per share on a revenue of $385.41 million.

LinkedIn's user base now stands at more than 259 million people and counting, up 38 percent year-over-year.

Talent Solutions, LinkedIn's job recruiter product portfolio, continues to be the company's top performing and most prominent revenue contributor. The department generated $224.7 million in quarterly revenue, up 62 percent annually and accounting for 57 percent of company-wide revenue.

Marketing Solutions was up 38 percent to $88.5 million in quarterly revenue, followed by Premium Subscriptions with $79.8 million in revenue in Q3.

CEO Jeff Weiner reflected on the quarter in prepared remarks:

Increased member growth and engagement helped drive strong financial results in the third quarter. We continue to deliver value to professionals through investment in core products and strategic initiatives such as mobile, students, and the professional publishing platform.

For the fourth quarter, Wall Street is looking for LinkedIn to deliver earnings of 40 cents per share on a revenue of $438.08 million.

LinkedIn offered a much lower Q4 guidance range of $415 million to $420 million. Given the soft outlook combined with sales being down, shares started to tumble in after-hours trading.

For the full year, LinkedIn is projecting revenue to fall around $1.5 billion.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Apps, Security, IT Employment, Tech Industry

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