LinkedIn ups IPO price target range

Business social networking site now seeks to raise $270 million in this week's public offering

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Apparently confident in investor demand, LinkedIn on Tuesday revised upward the target price for shares in its public offering this week, as well as the number of shares it plans to sell.

In an amended S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the social network for professionals said it intends to sell 9.02 million shares at a price of $42 to $45 each. In a filing earlier this month, the company said it would sell 7.8 million shares at $32 to $35 each.

The revised figures put LinkedIn on a path to raise $270.2 million, or 60 percent more than the $169 million it estimated in the earlier filing.

Another 3 million shares are being sold by current stockholders, including investment banks Goldman Sachs (872,000 shares) and Bain Capital (654,000). LinkedIn receives no proceeds from the sale of shares by stockholders.

(Is there any way for the Goldman shares to sell for far less? Just asking.)

Its new price target means LinkedIn has set its value at up to $4.3 billion, versus the more than $3 billion previously estimated.

With the private-share market for social media companies at a stupid fever pitch, LinkedIn and its underwriters -- Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- clearly believe they can score big when company shares are sold to the public.

The IPO is expected for Wednesday. LinkedIn will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol LNKD.

LinkedIn reported 2010 revenue of $243 million -- versus $120.1 million in 2009 -- and net income of $15.4 million. That's up from a loss of nearly $4 million the previous year.

In the first quarter of this year, LinkedIn sales more than doubled to $93.9 million from $44.7 million, while profit was $2.08 million, up 16 percent from $1.82 million a year ago.

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