Professional social network LinkedIn today announced it has agreed to acquire presentation sharing service SlideShare for $118 million in stock and cash, while also reporting earnings of $5 million on revenues of $188 million in the first quarter. Analysts had only expected $179 million in revenue.
The SlideShare acquisition will help LinkedIn add additional features to keep its 181 million members (up 58% from the same period last year) engaged. In recent years LinkedIn has added status updates and community features, hoping to get more people to visit the site when they’re not hiring or looking for a job. SlideShare is very complementary to what LinkedIn already offers. Additionally, the two communities are philosophically similar, in that they have a professional — rather than personal — approach to social networking.
SlideShare had 29 million unique users in March, according to comScore, and presentations from the site are embedded across 1.4 million domains, according to the company. SlideShare has promised its users that the standalone service will not go away, though it will be integrated further into LinkedIn.
If the deal clears all regulatory hurdles and wins shareholder approval, the deal is expected to close during the second quarter.
And what would an announcement involving SlideShare be without an embedded presentation:
Meanwhile, LinkedIn also reported all of its numbers for the first quarter, which surpassed what analysts were expecting. The company raised revenue by 101%, as compared to the year-ago first quarter. Most of that money (54%) came from Hiring Solutions, or services to hiring managers. Revenue from these products came in at $103 million, up 121% year-over-year.
Marketing Solutions — offerings for marketers — represented 26% of total revenue in the first quarter, or $48 million. That was a 73% increase from the 2011 period. Premium Subscriptions — upgraded memberships — accounted for 20% of LinkedIn’s revenues, or $38 million, up 91% from the year-ago numbers.
Earnings for the first quarter were up to $5 million, or $0.04 per share, from $2.1 million, break even per share, for the first quarter of 2011. When the company adjusted for stock-based compensation and other expenses, non-GAAP net income came in at $16.9 million, or $0.15 per share, compared to $5.8 million for the year-ago quarter.
LinkedIn is in the process of rolling out Talent Pipeline — which is already in use by PepsiCo, Pfizer, Red Hat, Netflix and First Citizens Bank — which allows recruiters and hiring managers to manage and stay in touch with all target candidates. In February, the company launched the “Follow Company” button for all companies with active LinkedIn company pages. The company also added two new languages — Czech and Dutch — to the LinkedIn Platform. LinkedIn has also focused a lot of attention on hiring — the company brought aboard 331 new employees in the first quarter.
Interestingly, the company said its traffic from mobile is growing quickly. In the last week of March, mobile devices accounted for 22% of traffic, as compared to 8% in the year-ago period.
The outlook is so positive that the company has revised upward what it expects for full-year revenue. It now says it will bring in $880 million to $900 million. Previously it had expected from $840 million to $860 million.
Shares of LinkedIn were up in after-hours trading.