Doubters may be questioning the strength of the U.S. jobs recovery after Wednesday’s announcement by ADP that 218,000 private sector jobs were created in July — lower than expected — but the job boards aren’t.
Two of the three publicly held careers publishers have so far reported their second-quarter results, and in both cases they’ve wowed Wall Street.
LinkedIn this afternoon announced it grew revenue by 47 percent, crossing over into billion-dollar territory halfway through the year. The company earned 51 cents a share (after adjusting for one-time expenses) versus the 39 cents predicted by analysts.
Wednesday morning, Dice Holdings, Inc., parent company of the IT tech site Dice.com and a group of boutique job boards, reported a 28 percent jump in revenue to $66.5 million. The company earned 13 cents per share, almost double analysts’ consensus estimate of 6 cents.
Dice announced it expected to do even better this year than it forecast just a few months ago. With sales growing, and its Open Web service now available in Europe, the company predicted 3rd quarter revenue between $65.5 and $66.5 million. For the full year, it expected revenue to be in the range of $258 and $262 million.
LinkedIn, which brought in $533.9 million this quarter — 60 percent of it or $322.2 million coming from recruiting — also raised its outlook for the year. The company says it expects this quarter to have revenue between $543 and $547 million. And for the year, LinkedIn increased its forecast by $75 million, predicting it will earn $2.14 and $2.15 billion.
Opening the regular quarterly conference call with analysts, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said the company “delivered strong financial results.” Even for a leader given to careful statements (the lengthy opening presentation by Weiner and CFO Steve Sardello was posted online before the call), it was an understatement.
Within minutes of the numbers coming out, LinkedIn’s stock rose more than 7 percent in after-hours trading, recovering the 3.55 percent it had lost during the day’s big stock market drop.
The financials were the most significant news to come out of the conference call, although Weiner did reveal that job postings on the site now exceeded 1 million, up from 300,000 just a few months ago. Repeating what has become a company mantra, he noted “ our goal is to power the world’s hires.” To that end, he said, LinkedIn is “increasing our focus on members actively looking for work opportunities.”
He also noted that two-thirds of LinkedIn’s traffic comes from outside the U.S., with China becoming the “fastest-growing major market for new members over the past several months.” And he lauded the new Sales Navigator, available through the Subscriptions group.
Like LI’s Recruiter product, Sales Navigator is a tool for sales professionals to use to identify and connect with potential buyers. The new version of Sales Navigator is pricier, averaging about $1,200 a seat.
Monster Worldwide won’t report its results until Tuesday. CareerBuilder is privately held and doesn’t report its total revenue or earnings. The company normally releases its North American sales numbers, but hasn’t done so yet.
However, during a quarterly financial call with analysts, its largest owner, Gannett, noted that CareerBuilder had “higher revenue growth” — 6 percent on a year-over-year basis — which was primarily driven by its “human capital software-as-a service products.”
In the face of the strong gains by the job boards and more external hiring last year, there is still concern there may yet be more softness in hiring. Tomorrow morning, the U.S. government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its initial report on job growth in July. Expectations are for the report to show about 230,000 new jobs. That’s a 58,000 drop from the 288,000 the BLS reported for June.
Likewise, ADP, the HR services and payroll processing company, and its partner, Moody’s Analytics, reported fewer new jobs than the 235,000 predicted by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.
“The July employment gain was softer than June, but remains consistent with a steadily improving job market,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.
The service sector added 202,000 jobs, while the goods-producing sector grew by a meager 16,000. Construction added 12,000 jobs; manufacturing 3,000.