LinkedIn satisfies Q4 revenue, but shares plummet on soft guidance

In addition to its earnings report, LinkedIn announced that it has acquired Connectifier, a startup with technology designed to assist recruiters with talent acquisition.

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LinkedIn published fourth quarter and end-of-year results Thursday after the bell.

The social network for professionals reported a Q4 net income of $8 million, or 6 cents per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were 94 cents per share on revenue of $862 million, up 34 percent from the year prior.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of 78 cents per share with at least $857 million in revenue.

For the year, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company generated $2.99 billion in revenue, up 35 percent from 2014, with earnings per share of $1.29.

For the first quarter of 2016, Wall Street expects LinkedIn to deliver earnings per share of 74 cents on revenue of $867 million.

LinkedIn followed up with a much softer revenue guidance range of $820 million with projected earnings of 55 cents per share.

As a result, LinkedIn's shares went into a free fall after the market closed, dropping more than 20 percent.

On the user front, LinkedIn says it now has 414 million members, an increase of 3.43 percent from last quarter.

Unique visitors were up 7 percent to an average of 100 million per month, and member page views grew 26 percent, said chief executive Jeff Weiner.

"This yielded 17 percent year over year growth in page views per unique visiting member, continuing a pattern of strong engagement growth over the past several quarters," he continued in a statement. "Mobile in particular grew 3x faster than overall member activity, and now represents 57 percent of all traffic to LinkedIn."

In addition to its earnings report, LinkedIn announced that it has acquired Connectifier, a two-year-old startup with technology designed to assist recruiters with talent acquisition.

"The acquisition of Connectifier, announced this afternoon, will further strengthen our core products and accelerate our product roadmap, leveraging powerful machine learning-based searching and matching technology to help recruiters and hiring managers find the perfect talent fit," LinkedIn said in the earnings statement.

According to a blog post from Connectifier, only the R&D team will join LinkedIn after the deal closes.