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LinkedIn's disappointing outlook eclipses big 1Q

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm •  Published: May 2, 2013
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The switch is a strategy already used by social networking leader Facebook Inc. and online messaging service Twitter to make it easier to show ads on mobile devices. LinkedIn plans to make the transition gradually to minimize the chances of irritating its members, CEO Jeff Weiner told analysts during a Thursday conference call.

LinkedIn's profits also will be lowered by the expenses for expanding the company's payroll and building data centers to run its online services.

"There are some incremental investments coming into play," Steve Sordello, LinkedIn's chief financial officer, told analysts during the conference call.

LinkedIn earned $22.6 million, or 20 cents per share, in the first quarter. That's up from $5 million, or 4 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Adjusted earnings were 45 cents per share in the latest quarter, well above analysts' expectations of 30 cents, based on a poll by FactSet.

Revenue grew 72 percent from last year to nearly $325 million — about $7 million above analyst projections.

Analysts, though, are likely to revise their estimates for the rest of the year.

LinkedIn expects second-quarter revenue between $342 million and $347 million for the April-June period. Analysts had forecast $360 million.

For the full year, LinkedIn believes its revenue will range from $1.43 billion to $1.46 billion. That's $20 million more than the company had predicted a few months ago, but analysts have been counting on full-year revenue of $1.5 billion.

Another figure that troubled investors is LinkedIn's forecast for its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA. This measure provides an inkling of how much money the company is likely to make. LinkedIn expects full-year EBITDA of $330 million to $345 million for the full year, below analysts' expectations of $363 million.

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AP Technology Writer Barbara Ortutay in New York contributed to this story.