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LinkedIn posts 2Q loss but stock soars after stronger-than-expected results

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - Shares of LinkedIn Corp. jumped Thursday after the professional networking service reported a second-quarter loss but still topped analysts' expectations.

The results come on the heels of better-than-expected quarterly reports from Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. that whetted investor appetite for social media companies in recent weeks.

LinkedIn posted a loss of $1 million, or 1 cent per share, compared with a profit of $3.7 million, or 3 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

Excluding stock option expenses and amortization costs, earnings came to 51 cents per share in the latest quarter, up from 38 cents per share a year ago. Analysts, on average, were expecting adjusted earnings of 39 cents per share, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue climbed 47 per cent to $533.9 million from $363.7 million in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts expected $511.8 million.

LinkedIn has more than 300 million members worldwide. Revenue from the U.S. was $317.8 million, accounting for 60 per cent of the total. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, which make most of their money from advertising, LinkedIn relies mainly on its "talent solutions" business for revenue, charging businesses and headhunters that use its site to find job candidates. This segment accounted for 60 per cent of the quarter's revenue, while advertising and premium subscription revenue took in 20 per cent each.

For the current quarter, the Mountain View, California-based company is forecasting adjusted earnings of 44 cents per share and revenue of $543 million to $547 million. Analysts are expecting earnings of 40 cents per share and revenue of $540.9 million, according to a poll by FactSet.

LinkedIn's stock jumped $15.95, or 8.8 per cent, to $196.59 in extended trading after the results came out. As of Thursday's closing price, LinkedIn shares have declined 17 per cent, to $180.64 since the beginning of the year. The stock has declined $32.36, or 11 per cent, in the last 12 months.

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