LinkedIn IPO Slated for Thursday

by Todd Shriber

After watching one hot Chinese Internet initial public offering after another come to market in recent months, a widely anticipated Internet IPO from a U.S.-based company is finally expected to come to roll out this week. LinkedIn, the social networking service for business professionals, makes its debut on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, under the ticker “LNKD.”

While LinkedIn may lack the cache of Facebook, Groupon or even Zynga when it comes to U.S. tech IPOs that investors are breathlessly anticipating, the offering would be the first from these hot Internet firms and could serve as a barometer of sorts.

Word is the company will sell 7.84 million shares. At an expected offering price range of $42 to $45, The Wall Street Journal said, LinkedIn would be worth over $4 billion.

Looking at recent activity in LinkedIn shares on SharesPost, some investors are probably hoping that this IPO packs more of a punch than Renren (RENN), the Facebook of China, which Trader Daily highlighted last week. That’s because SharesPost shows some folks recently paid nearly $31 for a LinkedIn share and they could quickly find themselves in the red if this IPO doesn’t go well.

To its credit, LinkedIn is already profitable, and its 2010 revenue more than doubled to $243 million, Bloomberg reported. So this isn’t one of those speculative, unprofitable companies that were all the rage when it came to Silicon Valley, Calif., IPOs in the late 1990s.

Assuming LinkedIn ends its first day as a public company with a market value of $4 billion, that’s not too shabby. After all, that would make the company immediately more valuable than American Eagle (AEO), American Airlines’ parent AMR (AMR), and AOL (AOL).

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from an earlier version to reflect an increased expected offering price.

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