LinkedIn reported its third-quarter earnings today, with revenue of $393 million (up 56 percent) and earnings per share of $0,39. Analysts had expected LinkedIn to earn $0.31 per share, on revenue of $385 million. In the comparable year-ago quarter, LinkedIn earned $0.22 on revenue of $252 million.
On a GAAP basis, LinkedIn lost $0.03 per share. However, LinkedIn’s performance is generally measured on a per-share basis in non-GAAP terms.
For the quarter, LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions group had revenue of $224.7 million (up 62 percent year over year), its Marketing Solutions had $88.5 million in revenue (up 38 percent), year over year), and its Premium Subscriptions top line totaled $79.8 million (up 61 percent), year over year).
LinkedIn reported revenue guidance for its fourth quarter of $415 million to $420 million. Investors had forecasted a figure of around $20 million more. In normal trading, LinkedIn was up around 1.5 percent). Following its earnings beat, LinkedIn is down in after-hours trading.
Investors, it appears, are disappointed with what appears to be slowing top-line growth at LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a very richly valued company. Before its stock moved, following its earnings release, LinkedIn had a trailing PE ratio in the hundreds, a forward PE of 111, and a PEG ratio of 2.92, according to Yahoo Finance. That means it cannot afford missteps, as investors are expecting consistently strong results.
The company had non-GAAP net income of $46.8 million in the period. For the quarter, LinkedIn’s adjusted EBITDA totalled $92.8 million. The company had a GAAP net loss of $3.4 million in the quarter, up around 50 percent year-over-year. LinkedIn had 259 million users at the end of the quarter.
In sum, LinkedIn had a strong quarter, but its lower-than-expected stated expectations for its year-end quarter have unnerved investors.
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Top Image Credit: Sheila Scarborough