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Strong Q4 for LinkedIn, shares rise slightly after hours

The job-search social network reported a fourth quarter revenue of $167.7 million, up 105 percent compared to $81.7 million for Q4 2010.

Unlike a few other major social media companies that declared an IPO in 2011, LinkedIn shows no signs of slowing down.

LinkedIn reported fourth quarter earnings of $6.9 million, or 6 cents a share (statement). Non-GAAP earnings were 12 cents a share on a revenue of $167.7 million, up 105 percent compared to $81.7 million for Q4 2010.

Wall Street was looking for a fourth quarter profit of 7 cents a share on revenue of $159.7 million.

Shares climbed by 4 percent to $79.85 in after hours trading on Thursday.

For 2011 overall, LinkedIn posted a revenue $522.2 million, a 115 percent jump from $243.1 million in 2010, with non-GAAP earnings at 35 cents per share.

CEO Jeff Weiner commented in prepared remarks:

Q4 once again exceeded our expectations for member engagement and business growth. It was a fitting end to a memorable year in which we reinforced our position as the pre-eminent professional network on the web. We believe continued focus on our members and technology infrastructure positions us well for accelerated product innovation in 2012.

For the outlook, LinkedIn is predicting a revenue of $170 million to $175 million at the end of Q1 2012.

By the end of 2012, LinkedIn is expecting revenue to fall between $840 million to $860 million.

Key points:

  • Completed another phase of the re-architecture of its software development and deployment process, known internally as InVersion, the foundation for accelerated product innovation in 2012
  • Announced Talent Pipeline: Currently in pilot mode, the new solution that allows recruiters and hiring managers to manage, track, and stay in touch with active and passive candidates, regardless of source.
  • Expand its international presence in Q4 with the addition of three new offices (Tokyo, Bangalore, and Sao Paulo), and five new languages (Japanese, Swedish, Indonesian, Malay, and Korean)

By the numbers:

  • LinkedIn by grew over 100 percent for the sixth consecutive quarter.
  • Revenue from the U.S. reached approximately $112.0 million, while revenue from international markets totaled $55.8 million.
  • Revenue from premium subscriptions totaled $33.3 million, a 87 percent increase compared to Q4 2010.

This item first appeared on ZDNet's Between the Lines blog under the headline "LinkedIn posts strong Q4 earnings, up in after hours trading."