BMO Capital Upgrades LinkedIn (LNKD) to Outperform, Says China Looks to Be Happening

December 6, 2013 6:54 AM EST
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BMO Capital upgraded LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) from Market Perform to Outperform with a price target of $270.00 (from $235.00), saying they believe the company is preparing to formally launch is China.

"We believe there are several new stories emerging that will raise long-term growth expectations; in particular, we believe LinkedIn is preparing to formally launch in China. Management has discussed this idea previously, and we learned from a separate NDR with MDC Partners that one of their agencies has been hired to begin a public relations outreach for LinkedIn in China," analyst Daniel Salmon states. "We assume a formal launch in 2014, with monetization beginning to ramp in 2015."

He added, "We are also positive on LinkedIn’s increasing focus on salespeople (LinkedIn believes there are 6x as many on the platform as human resources personnel), highlighted by an expected stand-alone product that should ramp during 2015. And the new focus on adding more students to the platform is sensible; while we don’t expect any monetization products aimed specifically at this group yet, embedding itself in career services departments would be a positive for LinkedIn. We also expect the hiring of Penry Price to lead ad sales to improve the relationship with the agency community; some ad products will likely be culled and a continued heavy focus on Sponsored Updates is expected. Finally, the Talent Solutions story now includes the recently released mobile app and a potential price increase in Europe in 2014 or in 2015."

For an analyst ratings summary and ratings history on LinkedIn click here. For more ratings news on LinkedIn click here.

Shares of LinkedIn closed at $226.44 yesterday.

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