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LinkedIn Corp. reported better-than-expected revenue and profit after it racked up strong growth from services that help companies find and hire employees and it raised its 2012 outlook.
The professional networking site also announced on Thursday that it acquired content sharing company SlideShare for $118.75 million US in a mix of cash and stock.
"The guidance was surprisingly high," said Ken Sena, an analyst with Evercore Partners. "I think it's a matter of them being able to use the data they have more efficiently to drive better results for their partners."
The company revised its 2012 outlook, expecting revenue in the range of $880 million to $900 million from a prior range of $840 million to $860 million.
LinkedIn shares were up 10 percent in after-hours trading at $120.50 from their $109.41 close.
The Mountain View, California-based company was one of the first prominent U.S. social networking sites to make its debut in an initial public offering a year ago, whetting the appetites of those eagerly awaiting Facebook's impending IPO.
With more than 161 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is being closely watched by investors to see if its business model is solid.
LinkedIn shares are up nearly 70 percent year to date and are more than double its IPO price of $45.
Started in the living room of ex-PayPal executive Reid Hoffman, who co-founded the company in 2002, LinkedIn makes money by selling services and subscriptions to individuals seeking jobs and companies looking to hire.
The top line results were bolstered by strong performance of the company's three units.
Revenue at its hiring solutions unit, which represents more than half of total revenue, jumped 121 percent.
"I think marketing solutions is the biggest surprise in terms of how much the numbers beat, given the weakness out of Yahoo," said Herman Leung, a senior analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group, which holds a stake in LinkedIn.
Revenue that derived mainly from display advertising sales rose 73 percent.
First quarter revenue at LinkedIn rose 101 percent to $188.5 million, besting analysts' average forecast of $178.58 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Excluding special items, its first-quarter earnings per share of 15 cents was well above analysts' expectations of 9 cents per share.