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LinkedIn’s Strong Sales, Forecast Sends Shares Soaring

LinkedIn CEO Weiner speaks at the TechCrunch Distrupt 2013 technology conference in San FranciscoLinkedIn CEO Weiner speaks at the TechCrunch Distrupt 2013 technology conference in San Francisco
Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn© Stephen Lam / Reuters REUTERS


(Reuters) – LinkedIn, the operator of the world’s biggest online network for professionals, reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit as demand grew for its hiring services and the company raised its 2016 forecasts.

LinkedIn shares, which have lost more than a third of their value since the company reported fourth-quarter results on Feb. 4, rose 8% to $133 in extended trading on Thursday.

Revenue from the company’s talents solutions business, which connects recruiters and job seekers, jumped 41% to $558 million in the first quarter. The business accounts for nearly two-thirds of the company’s total revenue.

LinkedIn has been buying companies, expanding its sales team and spending heavily to grow its presence in markets outside the United States, including China.

The company raised its full-year forecast for adjusted profit to $3.30-$3.40 per share from $3.05-$3.20. It also raised its revenue forecast to $3.65 billion-$3.70 billion from $3.60 billion-$3.65 billion.

The net loss attributable to LinkedIn widened to $45.8 million, or 35 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31 from $42.5 million, or 34 cents per share, a year earlier, as costs surged 41.5%.

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Excluding items, the company earned 74 cents per share.

Revenue jumped 35% to $860.7 million.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 60 cents per share and revenue of $828.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.