LinkedIn beats the Street as sales soar 31%

Linkedin Chocolates

LinkedIn on Thursday reported quarterly earnings that beat analysts' expectations as sales popped across the board.tations.

The social-media company posted second-quarter earnings per share of $1.13, compared with 55 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue for the quarter came in at $933 million, against the comparable year-ago figure of $712 million, representing a 31 percent increase, the company said.

Analysts expected LinkedIn to report earnings of 78 cents per share on revenue of $898 million, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

"LinkedIn delivered another quarter of strong growth," said Steve Sordello, chief financial officer. "We achieved record levels of operating cash flow, while continuing to invest heavily across our core member and customer value propositions."

To be sure, the company still reported a bigger loss per share than last year when generally accepted accounting principles were applied. Shares edged higher after the report.

LinkedIn's second-quarter results come on the heels of a July agreement to be bought by Microsoft for about $26 billion , a combination that aims to put the professional social network at the forefront of enterprise software services.

It will be critical for Microsoft — which has a spotty record when it comes to acquisitions — to nail its integration with LinkedIn , analysts have told CNBC. But Microsoft appears to be turning a corner , after its latest earnings and the launch of an Xbox gaming console.

LinkedIn's fate may be all but sealed, but investors will still keep an eye on the company's membership rate, as well as sales from talent solutions, marketing solutions and premium subscriptions.

Talent solutions saw revenues of $597 million in the quarter, compared to the $576.3 million expected in a StreetAccount consensus estimate.

Marketing sales hit $181 million, versus $168.2 million estimated, driven by sponsored content. Premium subscriptions hit $155 million, compared to $150.5 million expected, bolstered by the sales-prospecting tool Sales Navigator.

The company added 450 million cumulative members. StreetAccount estimated there would be 447 million ending members.