Surprise! LinkedIn Doubles Revenue, Turns a Profit

Wall Street may have tanked. The global markets may be in a shambles. But LinkedIn is proving you can roll uphill.

Fresh off its May IPO, the company surprised almost everyone, reporting it more than doubled revenue in the second quarter and turned a 7 cent a diluted share profit. After hours, investors rewarded the company’s performance, bidding up its stock price by almost 10 percent in the minutes after the numbers were released.

Analysts had predicted the company would lose 3 cents a share on revenue of $104.73 million. Looking ahead to the third quarter, the consensus was for a 4 cent a share loss on revenue of $111.82 million.

Now LinkedIn estimates it will bring in between $121 million and $125 million.

Since the initial euphoria, LinkedIn’s after-hours trading is lower, but still up over its New York close of $95.52. The stock lost $10.13 during Wednesday’s bloodbath. At early evening in New York, the stock is trading at $99.00 a share.

Company CEO Jeff Weiner, speaking at the company’s first financial results conference call, reported that on every metric LinkedIn’s second quarter performance showed growth. Besides the dollars and cents, Weiner said LinkedIn is growing at the rate of 2 members every second and now has 121 million members. Engagement with the site also continues to grow; pageviews are up 80 percent over the same quarter last year and unique visitors now average 81.8 million monthly.

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“Talent is the driving force,” Weiner said, both on the site and in the company itself.

He and CFO Steve Sordello attributed some of the growth to the excitement around the company’s May IPO. The halo effect from all the publicity and interest will wane, and, said Sordello, the company’s financial performance will “normalize” during the current quarter.

New products are being developed, both men said, and will roll out over the next several months, but they offered no specifics. For instance, Weiner  mentioned mobile as one of the fastest growing components, up 400 percent over the same quarter last year, saying LinkedIn is concentrating some development resources there. He also said some additions to the homepage would be forthcoming, but didn’t tip his hand as to what they might be.

One area where LinkedIn is going to push hard is in growing its international business, especially in recruitment. In the coming months, said Sordello, there will be “more and more focus on a global scale.”

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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