AP News

LinkedIn shares climb in premarket on strong 4Q


NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of LinkedIn Corp. jumped more than 10 percent before Friday's opening bell after the online professional-networking service reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

LinkedIn posted a 66 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit and said it added 15 million accounts to propel its total membership beyond 200 million. Visitors to LinkedIn's website also viewed 67 percent more pages than the previous year, which could be a sign that the company's efforts to add more business news and career tips are paying off.

The company also issued 2013 revenue guidance that was roughly in line with Wall Street predictions, but could prove to be conservative because it translates to a 45 percent jump. In 2012, LinkedIn's annual revenue rose 86 percent.

Citi analyst Neil Doshi backed his "Buy" rating, but boosted his price target by $15 to $150. He said LinkedIn benefits from its continued growth, diversified business model and market share gains. At the same time, the company has aggressive investment plans.

LinkedIn shares rose $13.29, or 10.7 percent, to $137.38 in premarket trading, which would top its 52-week high of $127.45 if it were to carry over into regular market trading. Its shares have traded as low as $74.32 in the past year.

Though volatile at times, the shares have posted significant gains over the past year, rising about 62 percent.


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