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Hiring business drives LinkedIn's revenue beat

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Corporate networking site LinkedIn Corp reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue as more businesses used its services to hire staff.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Corporate networking site LinkedIn Corp reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue as more businesses used its services to hire staff.

The company's hiring business has been thriving as employers find its services more helpful in assessing a candidate's suitability for a role.

Strong growth in the hiring business and rapid expansion in international markets such as China are considered by analysts to be the main growth drivers for the company in the next few quarters.

Revenue at LinkedIn's hiring business, called Talent Solutions, rose 45 per cent in the third quarter ended Sept 30, representing 61 percent of total revenue.

The company had launched a Chinese language "beta" version of its main website in February to expand in the world's largest internet market by users, looking to replicate its success in the United States internationally.

LinkedIn, however, forecast on Thursday current-quarter results below expectations, sparking a brief selloff that sent the company's shares down as much as 11 percent in extended trading.

But shares soon reversed to trade up 3 per cent at US$209.12 as investors focused on the handy third-quarter beat.

LinkedIn's net loss attributable to stockholders widened to US$4.3 million, or 3 cents per share, in the quarter, from US$3.4 million, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, LinkedIn earned 52 cents per share.

Revenue rose 45 per cent to US$568.3 million.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 47 cents per share on revenue of US$557.6 million.

For the fourth quarter ending December, LinkedIn forecast adjusted earnings of about 49 cents per share and revenue of between US$600 million and US$605 million.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 52 cents per share on revenue of US$611.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Up to Thursday's close, the stock had fallen more than 6 pct this year, underperforming the 7.92 per cent rise in the broader S&P 500 index.

REUTERS