The business networking site LinkedIn’s IPO went live today, and in the first morning of trading, shares are up 91%. In early trading, shares jumped as high as $92.99, up 106% from the initial public offering price of $45.
LinkedIn is one of the hottest professional and career networking sites and has gained strong acceptance in the action sports industry. The massive jump in the stock’s price, which values the company at approximately $9 billion despite the fact that it has made only a few hundred million dollars, is not only emblematic of a rebounding economy, but a fundamental shift in how advertisers reach eyeballs.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
As the first major U.S. social networking company to go public, LinkedIn’s deal is viewed as a preview of sorts for those that remain private, with expectations that a name like Facebook will be in even greater demand. LinkedIn has more than 100 million members, a fraction of the 600 million plus that Facebook has attracted, and its job-networking function is considered less a part of its members’ daily life than Facebook’s broader role as constant source of updates on the lives of friends, family and romantic partners.
“In Silicon Valley, everyone wants this to be a success. More success means there will be more investments in new companies,” said attorney Victor Shum, a partner in the San Francisco offices of Jeffer, Mangels Butler & Mitchell who advises technology firms on financing, mergers and acquisitions, and other business transactions. “If it works, there’s going to be a big push from a lot of social media companies to try to get out before Facebook does. Because once Facebook comes out, they’re not going to be able to get any analyst attention.”
In 2010, revenue at LinkedIn doubled to $243 million and net income was $15.4 million, compared with a loss of $4 million a year earlier. In the first quarter of 2011, revenue also doubled to $94 million and net income rose 14% to $2.1 million from a year earlier.