LinkedIn to buy SlideShare as 1Q beats Street
Thursday, May 3, 2012
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — LinkedIn Corp. said Thursday that its first-quarter profit more than doubled, and the business networking company is buying presentation sharing website SlideShare for $118.8 million.
Shares jumped $9.29, or more than 8 percent, to $118.70 in extended trading. If that rally extends into Friday's regular trading session, LinkedIn's stock price will be close to its peak of $122.70 reached during the shares' market debut nearly a year ago. The stock has remained well above its initial public offering price of $45 since then.
LinkedIn's net income for the three months ending in March totaled $5 million, or 4 cents per share. That was up from $2.1 million, or break-even per share, a year ago.
Excluding stock-based compensation expenses and other items, profit was 15 cents per share, beating the 9 cents expected by analysts polled by FactSet.
Revenue doubled to $188.5 million from $93.9 million, topping the $179 million analysts had forecast.
In another encouraging sign, the number of people setting up LinkedIn profiles to post their resumes continued to grow at a rapid pace. The company added another 16 million profiles during the first three months of the year to end March with 161 million members. A year ago, LinkedIn had 102 million members.
Luring more people to set up profiles is important to LinkedIn because it makes its website more valuable to employers looking for to hire new talent.
Most of LinkedIn's revenue comes from fees it charges companies, recruiting services and other people who want broader access to the profiles and other data on the company's website. The rest comes from advertising. During the quarter, revenue grew across the company's divisions.
The Mountain View, Calif., company is buying San Francisco-based SlideShare with cash and stock and expects the deal to close by June.
"Presentations are one of the main ways in which professionals capture and share their experiences and knowledge, which in turn helps shape their professional identity," said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner in a statement. He said SlideShare fits "perfectly" with LinkedIn's mission and will help deliver more value to its members.
LinkedIn said SlideShare had nearly 29 million visitors in March, citing data from research firm comScore.
Looking forward, LinkedIn said it expects second-quarter revenue of $210 million to $215 million, above the $208 million analysts had forecast.
For the full year, the company boosted its revenue estimate to a range between $880 million and $900 million, up from $840 million to $860 million seen previously. Analysts had estimated $876 million.
LinkedIn's shares had closed up $3.01, or 2.8 percent, to $109.41 during the regular trading day before its earnings report was released