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LinkedIn shares tumble after revenue misses target for first time

LinkedIn’s shares are down in the doldrums after a weak revenue forecast meant that its Wall Street price decreased by three per cent.

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The professional social network reported full year revenue estimates of between $2.06 billion [£1.22 billion] and £2.08 billion [£1.23 billion] – noticeably less than the analysts’ outlook of $2.11 billion [£1.25 billion]. Further compounding this was the fact that revenue for Q4 2013, which was expected to equal $505.1 million [£299.5 million], is anticipated to reach between $500 million [£296 million] and $505 million [£299 million].

Both sets of figures meant that shares spiralled to $155.80 [£92.40] on the New York Stock Exchange in after hours trading after closing at $161.22 [£95.62] on the very same stock exchange.

Such a lukewarm reception from the market can be attributed to the fact that it represents the first time that it has missed a Wall Street target since it first floated back in 2011.

The firm’s revenue growth has actually been on the go-slow for five quarters running and resulted in its shares being hit hard, especially since the start of this year with the price reportedly dropping by 25 per cent.

It hopes to arrest this decline by expanding into new markets and has its crosshairs firmly trained on the Chinese market, already launching a “beta” version of a Chinese site earlier on this year in February.

Users in China have been able to access the English version of the site for over 10 years and it already has four million users in the country, the BBC reporting that it wants to connect as many as 140 million Chinese professionals across the globe.

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The amount of professionals now using LinkedIn increased by 8.3 per cent in the fourth quarter and meant a membership of 300 million now use the site with the Chinese language site only likely to increase this number further.