LinkedIn's profits and revenue ahead of expectations, growth in all segments

LinkedIn reports better than expected results, saying each of its its business segments grew significantly.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
3 min read

LinkedIn recently revamped the look of its mobile apps in an effort to make its service more useful. Linkedin

LinkedIn reported a steep increase in revenue and profit for its second quarter , saying business rose across all three of its major units, particularly by mobile users.

The social networking service that bills itself as a website for professionals said Thursday that mobile devices continue to change its business, accounting for strong upticks in usage. "Mobile continues to drive a growing share of engagement," said Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn's CEO, saying mobile usage is increasing three times faster than the site overall.

Executives said the company was making strides in China, where it launched a specialized version of its website in February. China is now the fastest growing region in terms of new members, LinkedIn said. "We're laying a strong foundation and we're excited about the future," Weiner said.

Sales in its second quarter, which ended June 30, was $534 million, a jump of 47 percent from the same time a year earlier.

Profits, when adjusted for stock-based compensation and other items, rose to 51 cents per share from an earlier 38 cents. Analysts on average had expected the company to report $510 million in sales and 39 cents per share in adjusted earnings, according to surveys by Thomson Reuters.

Wall Street cheered the results, pushing LinkedIn's shares up 13 percent in after-hours trading after closing down more than 3 percent to $180.64. LinkedIn's shares had fallen nearly 17 percent so far this year through Thursday's close.

LinkedIn attributed the surprise results to the work the company has done to bolster each of its products. Most visible of those changes has been its mobile apps, of which the company has been investing heavily in preparation for when it believes more than half of its users will access the site on a mobile device.

LinkedIn's results mirror that of Facebook and Twitter, both of which reported sharply rising revenue following increased usage of their respective services. Facebook in particular said activity on mobile devices had been strong, while Twitter said usage during the World Cup soccer tournament was among the highest it's ever had.

LinkedIn though isn't particularly built around real-time communication or events. The website's service acts primarily as a repository of business connections and a living résumé on the web. Companies pay for access to the site in order to search for potential new employees; Users can choose to pay for advanced features like sending messages to people they don't know, or more robust search features.

The company recently released an app to help mobile professionals search and apply for jobs, claiming a significant and growing number of users are relying on their mobile devices for such work. It counts more than 1 million jobs in its listings today, the company said.

It also revamped its mobile contacts and profile apps in an effort to boost user's activity by offering more relevant and timely information about people they've connected with. Executives said LinkedIn is also quickly integrating technology from new acquisitions such as the notifications company Newsle.

LinkedIn said sales for of premium subscriptions rose to $105 million, an increase of 44 percent from the same time last year.

The company's marketing arm rose the same amount, tallying $106 million. LinkedIn has been attempting to bolster this part of its business for years, most recently buying advertising startups that specialize in business-focused advertising.

Its "talent solutions" division, which offers tools to recruiters, jumped 49 percent to $322 million. It was also the largest contributor to revenue, tallying 60 percent of the company's total.

LinkedIn counts more than 300 million users on its network, though it doesn't say how many people access its service on a monthly basis, a figure its peers Facebook and Twitter regularly do report.