LinkedIn Soars on Revenue and Earnings Growth
LinkedIn's focus on professionals is working: The company reported better-than-expected third quarter results and raised its revenue guidance for the whole year. It is now projecting about 80 percent growth in revenue.
Non-Gaap EPS came in at 22 cents, twice what Wall Street expected. This news sent the stock surging, trading nearly 8 percent higher after-hours. (Click here to get the latest quotes from LinkedIn.)
On the company's earnings call, CEO Jeff Weiner said this past quarter marks "the most significant period of product development in the company's history."
All three business lines are working. The biggest business — its "Talent Solutions" recruiting tools — saw a 95 percent increase in revenue as LinkedIn added 1,700 customers; now it comprises about 55 percent of the company's total revenue. (Read More: LinkedIn Beats Street's Expectations, Raises Outlook.)
And CFO Steve Sordello said the company is continuing to deepen its relationship with those customers, projecting that add-on renewal rates are "continuing to be strong" and churn is down.
Its ad business, which it calls "Marketing Solutions," grew revenue 60 percent from a year ago to a quarter of total revenue. And the premium subscriptions business grew revenue 74 percent.
Weiner pointed to two particularly strong areas: international and mobile growth. LinkedIn grew cumulative membership 47 percent year-over-year, and 70 percent of the new members added in the quarter came from outside the US. (Read More: LinkedIn CEO: We're Not Like Other Social Networks.)
The company pointed to its two largest non-U.S. markets, noting that in the past few months it hit 15 million members in India and 10 million in Brazil. The company said it is feeling the impact of the slowdown in China, but that is relative: Asia is still growing 110 percent year-over-year.
This past quarter, 25 percent of unique visitors came from mobile apps, up from 13 percent a year ago. And Weiner said the company's taking steps to make money from that new mobile traffic — it's now showing jobs on its mobile app and it has started to test ads on its mobile app. Now people can sign up for premium services through the mobile app, rather than having to go to the desktop.
CFO Steve Sordello teased ahead to more mobile revenue down the line.
"We do have plans in terms of monetizing on the mobile platform, which we haven't released beyond some testing," he said. "It's early days for us, you'll likely hear more next year."
Sordello also addressed some questions about the strength of LinkedIn's advertising rates. The company has always had the advantage of targeting a professional audience, but Sordello explained the increase in LinkedIn's ad rates by saying that the company's starting to sell more targeted ads and build out its field sales team.
Throughout the earnings call Weiner stressed the success of new products, like a new home page, saying that analysts shouldn't underestimate the "compounding effects" when people interact with multiple new products and services. The new home page is keeping people on LinkedIn for longer, and that means more advertising revenue. (Read More: LinkedIn Hopes New Look Will Drive Engagement.)
—By CNBC's Julia Boorstin
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