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LinkedIn Beats Earnings Estimates as More Employers Seek Talent

LinkedIn delivered big on the quarter.

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Wall Street was expecting a big fourth quarter from LinkedIn, and the company delivered.

The professional networking company reported a profit of 61 cents per share on $643 million in revenue, above analyst estimates of 53 cents per share on nearly $617 million in revenue. The stock went up 6.2 percent in after-hours trading.

The bulk of the revenue growth came from LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions business, the side of the company that generates money by helping recruiters post and fill job openings. That business rose 41 percent to $369 million in the quarter. Cantor Fitzgerald’s Youssef Squali expected 39 percent.

Talent Solutions is what the company has long been known for: Helping companies fill jobs and employees find them. But the other area of LinkedIn’s business, the ads business and premium subscriptions, also grew significantly.

The company’s content business, called Marketing Solutions, which includes things like sponsored content or sponsored updates from companies, gained 56 percent to $153 million. And premium subscriptions, which allow users access to more services like profile metrics or messaging capabilities, jumped 38 percent to $121 million.

LinkedIn also reported 347 million registered users, up from 331 million last quarter. Unlike other social networks like Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn does not report an active user total, just the total number of registered users.

The company expects current quarter sales of between $618 million and $622 million and profit of 53 cents per share, and for the full year, sales of $2.93 billion to $2.95 billion and profit of $2.95 per share.

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