LinkedIn Shares Fall More than 26% on Guidance

Provided by CNBC

LinkedIn reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that topped analyst estimates, but shares in the company tanked in after-hours trading on weak guidance.

The company said Thursday that it saw adjusted earnings of 94 cents per share on $862 million in revenue in its fourth quarter. Analysts had expected LinkedIn (LNKD) to report earnings of about 78 cents per share on $858 million in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Despite the results beat, the company’s shares fell more than 26 percent in after-hours trading on weaker-than-expected guidance.

For the first quarter, LinkedIn said it expects revenue of about $820 million and non-GAAP earnings of about 55 cents per share. Wall Street had on average expected about $868.3 million in revenue and earnings of 75 cents per share for that quarter, according to StreetAccount.

The company’s guidance for first-quarter adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was about $190 million — analysts had forecast about $213.9 million, according to StreetAccount.

Still, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said in a statement accompanying the results that the company enters “2016 with increased focus on core initiatives that will drive leverage across our portfolio of products.”

CFO Steve Sordello, for his part, said 2016 will see the company focus on “investing intelligently in our core member and customer value propositions to capture the large, addressable opportunity ahead of us.”

In the final quarter of 2015, LinkedIn saw a 34 percent increase in revenue from $643 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings increased 54 percent from 61 cents in Q4 2014.

The company said it ended the fourth quarter with 414 million members, topping average analyst estimates of 409.7 million, according to StreetAccount.

Shares in the professional social network have fallen about 26 percent in the last three months, trending worse than the major U.S. indexes.

Written by Everett Rosenfeld of CNBC

(Source: CNBC)

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