In case you missed it: LinkedIn remains a very profitable public social web company, it’s trying to become a major media platform and corporate recruiting is where the money’s coming from. There weren’t too many surprises from the company’s first quarter earnings released on Thursday, but another quarter of strong numbers and exceeded expectations reinforce the trends we’ve been seeing from LinkedIn over the past year.
LinkedIn posted its first quarter earnings on Thursday, reporting revenue of $324.7 million, which beat analyst expectations of $317.08 million. The company saw first-quarter earnings of $0.45 per share excluding one-time charges, compared to analyst expectations of $0.31 per share. The first quarter revenue of $324.7 million is up 72 percent over the $188.5 million in revenue from the same quarter of 2012.
As we’ve written before, the company’s corporate recruiting efforts, called the “Talent Solutions” portion of the business, has become the primary money-maker for LinkedIn, and that remained true for this quarter. The Talent Solutions section grew to become 57 percent of the company’s revenue this quarter with $184.3 million in revenue, up from 53 percent of the company’s revenue last quarter. It allows companies and professional recruiters to pay for access to the product that lets them track candidates, post job openings, and manage submissions.
The company reported $22.6 million in net income and non-GAAP net income of $52.4 million, which translated to earnings per share excluding one-time charges of $0.45.
The company noted earlier this year that a good deal of its new user acquisitions were coming from overseas, and in fact nearly 40 percent of the company’s revenue this quarter came from international markets. The company also noted Thursday that they’ve seen huge growth from students on LinkedIn as well. LinkedIn’s SVP of engineering, Kevin Scott, will be talking about the challenges in leading engineering for the growing business this summer at our Structure conference in San Francisco.
LinkedIn has emerged as one of the most profitable social web companies on the public market right now, consistently posting strong numbers and coming off particularly strong fourth quarter earnings. Since February, the company has launched a variety of products and new features, having recently re-designed its consumer-facing mobile app as well as its Recruiter page for corporate recruiters. The company also launched the brand-new LinkedIn Contacts product, which is a separate mobile app that serves as an integrated contacts app for super-networkers. LinkedIn also acquired the social news reader Pulse, and is clearly looking to make the main feed on the site more of a hub for business-related news and media.
CEO Jeff Weiner also noted that LinkedIn will be selling sponsored content in the main LinkedIn feed, which fits with the company’s goal to populate the feed with more business-related news, photos and videos. Once LinkedIn becomes a destination for people to find current news, it gives the company more chances to sell ads. But even as the number of users on LinkedIn appears to be growing, it’s all relative: LinkedIn is only at 225 million registered users, up from 200 million in January, and those are just registered, not active. So take that for whatever it’s worth.