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LinkedIn Revenue Guidance Disappoints, Shares Tumble in Extended Hours (LNKD)

Ever since LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) went public two years ago, its quarterly results or outlook never disappointed investors with shares often rallying after the earnings releases.

However, Thursday was different. Although the professional networking giant’s quarterly results once again exceeded Street’s estimates, its revenue guidance failed to inspire the Street, sending shares sharply lower during extended trading hours.

The Company said that its earnings growth will also slowdown in coming quarter as it looks to hire more workers, and invest in technology.

“There are some incremental investments coming into play,” said Steve Sordello, LinkedIn’s CFO, while speaking to analysts in earnings call.

For the fiscal first quarter, LinkedIn reported a profit of $22.6 million or 20 cents a share compared to a profit of $5 million or 4 cents a share, in the same quarter of last year. Stripping out onetime items, adjusted earnings climbed to 45 cents a share from 15 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue during the quarter soared 72% to $324.7 million from $188.5 million, reported in the year-earlier quarter.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting earnings of 31 cents a share on revenue of $317 million.

Looking ahead the fiscal 2013, LinkedIn anticipates revenue in the range of $1.43 billion to $1.46 billion while analysts were expecting it at $1.5 billion.

For the current quarter, the Company is expecting revenue on the range of $342 million to $347 million, falling short of analysts’ consensus estimate of $359 million.

Another cause for concern is LinkedIn’s guidance on its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization or EBITDA.  EBITDA is gauge on how much money a company is likely to make or made. LinkedIn now anticipates full-year EBITDA to come between $330 million and $345 million which is fairly below analysts’ estimation of $363 million.