Shares of LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE:LNKD) continued to plunge Friday, tumbling more than 20 percent to as low as $199.96, a day after the professional networking site slashed its full-year forecast, citing lower demand for advertising. The company said spending on display ads fell 10 percent in the first three months of the year.
"We were particularly impacted in Europe, where the ongoing shift of programmatic advertising caused a drop in demand for our traditional display products," Steve Sordello, chief financial officer at LinkedIn, said during a call with shareholders Thursday. "Going forward, display will remain an important component of our product suite, albeit with lessening impact on the business."
The company’s hiring subsidiary Talent Solutions, which accounts for 62 percent of LinkedIn’s total revenue, saw its revenue rise 36 percent in the quarter ended March 31.
The Mountain View, California-based company cut its full-year outlook, forecasting a profit of $1.90 per share, excluding items, on revenue of about $2.90 billion, down from a previous forecast for earnings of $2.95 per share on revenue of $2.93 billion to $2.95 billion.
Following the announcement Thursday, shares of LinkedIn plunged as much as 27 percent in after-hours trading to $183.32 after the stock had ended the day at $252.13.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn posted a first-quarter loss of $43 million, or an earnings-per-share loss of 34 cents, on revenue of $638 million, compared with a loss of $13 million, or an earnings-per-share loss of 11 cents, on sales of $473 million during the same period a year earlier. Wall Street had expected the company to report a quarterly loss of $26.14 million, or an EPS loss of 20 cents, on revenue of $636.04 million, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Separately, LinkedIn announced in April it would buy for about $1.5 billion Lynda.com, an online education company offering video courses in software, creative and business skills. The company said Thursday it expects the deal to close in the second quarter.
LinkedIn surged to an all-time intraday high of $272.96 in February after profit and sales topped analysts’ estimates for the 15th consecutive quarter. Shares of LinkedIn have lost 9 percent this year.