LinkedIn shares plunge as much as 43% after announcing disappointing earnings report

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It wasn’t a good day for LinkedIn. The social network’s shares sank as much as 43 per cent on Friday, wiping out nearly $11 billion (U.S.) of market value.

The stock bottomed out to a three-year low of $109.50, registering its sharpest decline since the company’s high-profile public listing in 2011.

LinkedIn forecast full-year revenue of $3.60-$3.65-billion, missing the average analyst estimate of $3.91-billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

As the Globe & Mail writes that underscoring the slowdown in growth, LinkedIn noted online ad revenue growth “slowed to 20 per cent in the fourth quarter from 56 per cent a year earlier.

Adding fuel to the selloff was the release of the U.S. monthly jobs report, which showed employment gains slowed more than expected in January.”

“Q4 was a strong quarter for LinkedIn, bringing to a close a successful year of growth and innovation against our long-term roadmap,” said Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, in a statement.  “We enter 2016 with increased focus on core initiatives that will drive leverage across our portfolio of products.”

LinkedIn, with more than 414 million members, earns most of its money from its premium services. Job seekers and also recruiters are paying for extra features to optimize career placement.

The company has emphasized its project to showcase original content. “Influencers” including well-known business leaders and celebrities, write posts about their career experiences and share them to their LinkedIn following.

In its earnings call, LinkedIn also announced that it has acquired Connectifier, a startup with technology for helping recruiters find talent.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

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David Silverberg
David Silverberg is the former editor-in-chief of Digital Journal Inc. He helped pioneer Digital Journal's proprietary technology to leverage content from writers from across the world. He was the host of Digital Journal's annual Future of Media event. David has been published in various publications, writing on everything from technology trends to celebrity profiles.