Goldman upgrades LinkedIn's rating

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Shares of LinkedIn got a boost Wednesday after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to a bullish rating citing high demand for its hiring-related services. The analyst said there was a “high perceived value” of LinkedIn among recruiters. He went on to say that the company was well positioned to benefit from an increase in mobile usage due to it reliance on its own subscriptions as opposed to advertising which will be “a key factor in driving outperformance in the sector over the next few years.”

Canaccord Genuity technology Analyst Michael Walkley is also bullish on LinkedIn, calling it the default network for professionals and highlighting its differentiation  from other social networks as  he believes most users want to keep their professional profiles separate from their personal ones. He sees the following as key leverage points for the company going forward: international member growth, higher member engagement and large corporate customers adding more seats. While he expects to see high marketing spend in 2012, he believes 2013 should start to show operating leverage and he expects earnings growth to accelerate.

LinkedIn (LNKD : NYSE : US$97.78), Net Change: 5.94, % Change: 6.47%, Volume: 8,466,582

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Canaccord Genuity Inc. is a global investment banking and institutional brokerage firm. Their website is www.canaccordgenuity.com.

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