LinkedIn's Fourth Quarter Earnings Soar (Update 1)

Updated from 4:29 p.m. EST with executive comments from the conference call.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - LinkedIn ( LNKD) shares are soaring in after-hours trading, after the social networking company reported better than expected results.

LinkedIn reported fourth-quarter earnings of 12 cents per share on $167.7 million in revenue. Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to bring in revenue of $159.7 million and earnings of 7 cents per share.

The company's Hiring Solutions division, which generates revenue from job seekers, came in at $84.9 million, an increase of 136% year-over-year. On the conference call, the company said 80% of the Fortune 100 use LinkedIn for recruitment.

LinkedIn competes with Monster Worldwide ( MWW) and DICE HOLDINGS ( DHX) in the professional services sector. LinkedIn has shown to be a disruptive force in the job-seeking industry, as it takes away market share from its competitors.

On the company conference call, LinkedIn said its platform has a number of software-as-a-service (SaaS)-like features, and the company is leveraging its user data to continue to drive revenue and monetization.

They also noted that mobile has been very accretive to the company as a network, due primarily to the increase in connection density, or the number of users that are connected to other users. Apple's ( MWW) iOS is seeing faster adoption than Google's ( MWW) Android, it said, but both are still seeing healthy rates of growth.

LinkedIn also gave first-quarter and full year 2012 revenue guidance. The company said it expects first-quarter revenue to be between $170 million and $175 million. LinkedIn expects 2012 revenue to be between $840 million and $860 million. Wall Street was expecting full year revenue of $827 million.

"Q4 once again exceeded our expectations for member engagement and business growth," explained Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn's CEO, in a statement. "It was a fitting end to a memorable year in which we reinforced our position as the pre-eminent professional network on the web."

LinkedIn shares closed the regular session down 0.25% to $76.35. Shares are moving sharply higher in extended-hours, up 8.1% to $82.60, according to Nasdaq.com.

LinkedIn shares have outperformed the broader market this year, up 21.2%, versus 7.5% for the S&P 500.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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