LinkedIn Reaches Highest Level Since August: San Francisco Mover

LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD), the biggest professional-networking website, rose to the highest closing price since August after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) raised its rating on the stock to buy.

LinkedIn gained 6.5 percent to $97.78 at the close in New York, the highest close since Aug. 3. The Mountain View, California-based company has advanced 55 percent this year.

The company, which first sold shares to the public in May, has about 150 million members. LinkedIn’s appeal to recruiters, and its ability to boost customer engagement through new products such as a mobile application, should allow its hiring- solutions and marketing-services businesses to do better than expected, Heath Terry, a Goldman Sachs analyst, wrote in a note today.

“LinkedIn is one of the companies best positioned to benefit from growth in mobile usage given its reliance on subscriptions over advertising,” wrote Terry, who previously rated the shares neutral. “This will be a key factor in driving outperformance in the sector over the next few years.”

In the fourth quarter of 2011, LinkedIn’s hiring solutions revenue more than doubled from a year earlier to $84.9 million, while sales in the marketing-solutions business increased 77 percent to $49.5 million.

To contact the reporters on this story: Niamh Ring in New York at nring@bloomberg.net; Alexander Yablon in New York at ayablon@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ville Heiskanen at vheiskanen@bloomberg.net

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