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LinkedIn shares plunge on weak earnings and profit forecast

LinkedIn's shares slump after it disappoints Wall Street with its forecast and profit. Efforts to strengthen its core recruitment business hit by economic slowdown.

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LinkedIn shares plunge on weak earnings and profit forecast

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LinkedIn’s shares have slumped over 40 percent after it disappointed Wall Street investors with its forecast for first-quarter revenue and profit in the final three months of last year.

The operator of the world’s largest online network for business professionals reported its slowest growth in quarterly online advertising revenue in more than two years.

Online ad revenue growth slowed to 20 percent in the fourth quarter from 56 percent a year earlier as automated ads offered by Alphabet Inc’s Google make its traditional ad displays less attractive to advertisers.

LinkedIn has been spending heavily by buying companies, hiring sales people and expanding in China and other markets outside the United States.

It said the focus of that expansion, which is connecting recruiters and job seekers, has suffered from the current global economic slowdown.