LinkedIn to launch IPO


LinkedIn Corp. announced today it will launch an IPO on Monaday 19, 2010. The company said it expects to offer 7.84 million shares for $32 to $35 a share. The IPO will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNKD. Morgan Stanley (MS) and BofA Merrill Lynch are underwriters of the offering.

LinkedIn operates in more than 200 countries. It generates revenue by selling its hiring and marketing software offline, and from members who subscribe to its premium services. The operator of a professional online network with more than 100 million members is based at Mountain View, California.

LinkedIn’s IPO is one that could be followed by other major Internet firms, including online-coupon site Groupon Inc., Twitter Inc. and the most anticipated of all, Facebook Inc.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, LinkedIn said it will sell 4.83 million Class A common shares, and selling stockholders will offer 3.01 million Class A common shares.

With total Class A and Class B common shares outstanding of 94.5 million, LinkedIn will carry a market capitalization of about $3.17 billion, based on an IPO price of $33.50 a share.

LinkedIn estimated its proceeds at $146.6 million, assuming an IPO price at the midpoint of the range, which will be used primarily for general corporate purposes, including working capital, sales and marketing activities, general and administrative matters and capital expenditures.

LinkedIn showed strong membership and top-line revenue growth throughout the economic downturn, and posted a 2010 profit of $15.4 million following operating losses from 2007 until 2009. For the quarter ended March 31, LinkedIn said revenue jumped 110% to $93.9 million while earnings climbed 16% to $2.1 million. Operating expenses surged 123% to $92.65 million in the March quarter.


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