LinkedIn Shares Tumble After Post-IPO ‘Lockup Period’ Ends

LinkedIn Corp.’s shares dropped to the lowest level in five months after its so-called lockup period ended, letting some early investors and employees sell the stock for the first time since the initial public offering.

LinkedIn, the biggest networking site for professionals, fell 2.8 percent to $70 in New York trading, reaching the lowest point since June 24.

Company insiders are typically forbidden from unloading shares for six months after an IPO, in part to keep sell orders from flooding the market. With the expiration of LinkedIn’s lockup period today, 6.1 million shares changed hands, more than three times the average daily volume over the past month. A worldwide stock slide, which sent the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index down 1.9 percent, may have contributed to the drop.

Last week, LinkedIn announced plans to offer as many as 9.2 million shares in a secondary stock sale, which would generate as much as $703 million. Bain Capital Ventures plans to sell all of its 3.71 million shares in the offering, LinkedIn said.

LinkedIn shares are still up 56 percent since the Mountain View, California-based company raised $352.8 million in its IPO on May 18.

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