Shares of LinkedIn top $100

Online professional social networking site's stock climbs 8% in Friday trading

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Shares of LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) soared more than 8 percent on Friday, topping $100 for the first time since May 20, the day after the professional social networking company's initial public offering.

In late-afternoon trading, LinkedIn was at 99.23, up 5.25, or 5.6 percent, from Thursday's closing price of 93.98. Shortly after noon, shares peaked at 101.50.

The spike came on the same day investment site Seeking Alpha posted a favorable analysis of LinkedIn's revenue and earnings prospects, and two days after Capstone Investments analyst Paul Meeks initiated coverage with a "sell" rating and target price of $45. Go figure.

(Also see: LinkedIn shares nearly triple in IPO debut

After going public on May 19, climbing as high as 122.70 and finishing at 94.25, LinkedIn shares sank slowly and fairly steadily in the next month, hitting as low as 60.14 on June 20.

In a Friday post on Seeking Alpha, Valuentum Securities writes:

"[LinkedIn's] revenue trajectory will be stellar during the next few years..."

"LinkedIn's profitability should steadily increase over time as it scales marketing and infrastructure costs. Its operating margins should be in the mid-single-digits this year, hit nearly 10% next year and expand to the mid-double-digits in 2013."

Did the Valuentum kiss really push LinkedIn shares as high as 8 percent on Friday? I hate to ascribe big share moves on things other than earnings or event-driven news, but nothing else is happening today that would impact LinkedIn shares so much.

On the other hand, LinkedIn shares gained 2.4 percent on June 30, when a negative analysis about the company was posted on Seeking Alpha. So the online touting could all be unrelated to the stock's movement.

Whatever the reason for LinkedIn's recent ticker climb, investors who spent the previous month watching the air come out of the IPO balloon must be relieved. For now.

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