LinkedIn's 4Q gets rave reviews from investors
But LinkedIn is growing more quickly, partly because it's less dependent on advertising than Facebook and most Internet services. In the fourth quarter, advertising accounted for 27 percent of LinkedIn's revenue. The remainder comes from various tools that it sells to help recruit workers and glean more insights from the information that its users post on its website.
Reflecting its belief that the member data are becoming increasingly valuable, LinkedIn said Thursday that it intends to raise some prices this year. Setting up a member profile remains free. The price increase reflects the additional information that the company has accumulated as its membership has more than doubled in less than two years, according to Steve Sordello, LinkedIn's chief financial officer. The company provided no specifics on the increases.
LinkedIn earned $11.5 million, or 10 cents per share, during the final three months of last year. That compared to $6.9 million, or 6 cents per share, a year earlier.
If not for the costs of employee stock compensation and certain other charges, LinkedIn said it would have earned 35 cents per share. That was far above the average estimates of 19 cents per share among analysts surveyed by FactSet.
Revenue soared 81 percent from the previous year to $304 million — about $24 million above analyst forecasts.
LinkedIn's revenue outlook for the current quarter and all of 2013 were roughly in line with analyst estimates, setting the stage for the company to clear those financial hurdles once again.
Management's forecast for annual revenue of $1.4 billion this year appears conservative, given that it would translate into an increase of about 45 percent from last year. In 2012, LinkedIn's annual revenue rose 86 percent.
"We are trying to utilize a prudent approach to year-over-year growth," Sordello told analysts during an analyst conference call.
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