LinkedIn shares down 19% after weak outlook

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Shares of LinkedIn plunged after the company released lowered guidance for the year. The company reported earnings per share of 57 cents on revenue of $638 million for the first quarter of 2015 on Thursday.

Analysts forecast LinkedIn would deliver earnings per share of 56 cents on $636 million in revenue in the first quarter, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

For the second quarter LinkedIn projected revenue of $670 million to $675 million and adjusted earnings per share of 28 cents. Analysts had on average expected earnings per share of 74 cents on revenue of $717.5 million. LinkedIn's guidance for both the topline and bottom line were weaker than even the most pessimistic of three dozen Wall Street estimates.

The company's revenue increased 35 percent from $473 million in the first quarter of 2014. Earnings per share were at 38 cents for the year-earlier period.

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"Q1 was a solid quarter in which we made meaningful progress against our multi-year strategic roadmap," said Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, in a release. "During the quarter, we maintained steady growth in member engagement while achieving strong financial results."

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The professional networking company, which has more than 350 million members, reported that revenue from marketing solutions products increased 38 percent from the first quarter of 2014, to $119 million. Premium subscriptions increased 28 percent from the year-earlier period to $122 million. Those subscriptions represented 19 percent of total revenue in the first quarter of 2015.

Revenue from the U.S. came in at $389 million, representing 61 percent of total revenue in the first quarter. Revenue from international markets was $248 million, about 39 percent of total revenue.

The professional social network announced the pending acquisition of teaching website lynda.com earlier this month. The deal was valued at $1.5 billion in cash and stock.

Colin Gillis, of BGC Financial, attributed the weak guidance to the costs associated with the lynda.com acquisition. "They're acquiring a company that has a very different margin profile than their core business," he told CNBC's " Fast Money " Thursday.

"It's likely going to be a good long-term acquisition, but there is a near-term impact."

LinkedIn shares have jumped 10 percent higher this year.

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