LinkedIn picks up data insight firm Bright amid solid Q4 earnings report

Everything on LinkedIn's Q4 earnings report was in tip-top shape -- except the outlook.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Not all social media properties are having a tough earnings season, despite what happened with Twitter and Pandora on Wednesday. Yelp posted another solid quarter, and LinkedIn followed suit.

The professional social network posted a fourth quarter net income of $3.8 million, or three cents per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were 39 cents per share on a revenue of $447.2 million.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of 38 cents per share and revenue of $437.84 million.

LinkedIn's membership base now stands at 277 million and counting, a 47 percent increase annually.

Here's a closer look at how LinkedIn's Q4 revenue breaks down:

  • Talent Solutions: $245.6 million, or 55 percent of total revenue
  • Marketing Solutions: $113.5 million, 25 percent of total revenue
  • Premium Subscriptions: $88.1 million, 20 percent of total revenue
  • U.S. revenue: $271.1 million, accounting for 61 percent of total revenue
  • International: $176.1 million, 39 percent of total revenue

CEO Jeff Weiner reflected on LinkedIn's 2013, which centered around a huge push into digital publishing, in prepared remarks:

Solid fourth quarter performance capped another successful year where improvements in scale and relevance across our platform led to strong member engagement. Moving forward, we are investing significantly in a focused number of long-term initiatives that will allow us to realize our vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.

For the current quarter, Wall Street is looking for earnings of 47 cents per share and revenue of $470.27 million.

But LinkedIn followed up with a Q1 revenue guidance range of $455 million and $460 million, which sent shares into a tumble in after-hours trading.

For the year, LinkedIn expects to rake in revenue between $2.02 billion and $2.05 billion.

Despite the weak outlook, LinkedIn's 2014 still looks bright, so to speak. That's in part due to a new acquisition announced on Thursday: Bright, a data insight firm that connects employers with prospective hires.

Bright founder Eduardo Vivas explained in a blog post this afternoon that he launched bright during the "worst recession of our generation" to make the labor market more efficient.

We assembled an incredible team. In their previous lives, they had been nuclear physicists, astrophysicists, geophysicists, neuroscientists, organizational psychologists, teachers (for America), and even a five-time Jeopardy champion. They were brought together by a belief that finding a job should be easier than splitting an atom. We then commissioned the first large scale, controlled clinical trial of talent matching. We recruited hundreds of talent acquisition professionals and asked them to tell us if they would advance specific candidates in the hiring process for specific jobs. Based on these judgments, we were able to identify the relevant features that lead to successful hiring and build them into our matching algorithms.

However, it is not clear if the entire Bright team will be shifting over to LinkedIn, as the announcement only specified "several members of Bright's team, including those from Engineering and Product" will join the new parent company.

For now, Bright's existing users and customers can continued to access existing data until the end of the month.

LinkedIn will pay $120 million for Bright, which breaks down to 73 percent stock and 27 percent cash. The deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter.

Parker Barrile, vice president of product for LinkedIn Talent Solutions, noted in a separate post that Bright's talent and resources will be eventually linked to job listings for the purpose of better connecting employers and job seekers.

Editorial standards