LinkedIn Q1 2012 Reports: More Members, More Revenue, Acquiring SlideShare

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner With LinkedIn SignUntil Facebook will go public and all the craziness surrounding it will fade away, currently there is only one social networking company that is publicly traded, the professional social network LinkedIn, which reported yesterday its first quarter of 2012 financial results.

But alongside the traditional revenue and growth “boring” data there was also a very interesting and meaningful announcement- LinkedIn is acquiring the presentation-sharing service SlideShare for $119 million. Let’s go over all the important highlights from LinkedIn’s reporting:

Users

The company is reporting that it now has 161 million members, up 7.3% from 150 million members on the fourth quarter of 2011. This is the slowest quarter-to-quarter growth ever since LinkedIn’s data were publicly available a year ago and probably also on its history.

But it is important to remember that for a business-niche oriented social network it is very impressive reaching for these numbers at all and slowing down in user growth is just a natural thing when adding that into consideration.

Revenue

Very good news for LinkedIn’s shareholders- The company’s quarterly revenue summed at $188.5 million which is almost double from the $93.9 million on the first quarter of 2011. Even better news are that the company is managing to optimize its bottom line profits- Net income was $5 million which reflects 140% rise compared to Q1 2011.

While Wall-Street analysts expected earnings of $0.09 cents a share, the company shattered this number with earnings of $0.15 cents a share. LinkedIn also reduced its dependency on the U.S. market which was responsible for 64% of the company’s revenue, down from 67% on the fourth quarter of 2011.

Investors were obviously satisfied from those numbers and sent LinkedIn shares (symbol LNKD) to more than 8% rise on the post-market trading.

Acquiring SlideShare

LinkedIn took advantage of the quarterly reporting spotlights to announce about the acquisition of SlideShare. The deal’s worth rounds around the $119 million when 45% will be in cash and 55% in stocks. The acquisition suppose to be finalized somewhere during the second quarter of 2012.

SlideShare is a platform where users can share presentations and documents and by its nature it is mostly hosting business contents. It estimated to have nearly 30 million unique monthly visitors. At least according to a post from its CEO, Rashmi Sinha, SlideShare is going to remain a standalone brand and it will deepen the integration with LinkedIn through time.

The two companies has a tight history of close relationship over the years that peaked (until the acquisition of course) on June last year. The acquisition makes a lot of sense as both of the companies operating on the same field and approaches to the same typr of audience.

Mobile

LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner has revealed on the company’s conference call that visitors from mobile devices were responsible for 22% of the social network’s total visits. This is a significant rise from the 15% visits share mobile users were responsible for on the fourth quarter of 2011.

But just as almost any other social networking service around, LinkedIn also battles with efficient monetization of its mobile platform. Jeff Weiner disclosed that the company is planning to launch customized-size mobile ads for smartphones while for its iPad app the ads will be displayed in a similar way it is being displayed on desktop.

Yearly Summary Share Price

LinkedIn early IPO investors can be pretty satisfied from the company’s share performances since it was publicly traded almost a year ago on May 19th 2011. Back then, LinkedIn set its IPO price for $45 a share while at the first day it already closed at $94.25 a share.

Yesterday’s closing price was $109.41 and as I stated earlier, on the post-market trading it jumped by over 8% to about $118.7 a share. So even if you invested in LinkedIn on its first day closing share price, you are now more than 25% profitable. Nice.