LinkedIn Could Become The Facebook Of Professional Ads

LinkedIn Corp. (s: lnkd) was initiated at overweight with a $310 12-month price target at Morgan Stanley on Thursday, implying a 15.2% improvement from Wednesday's closing price of $269. Analyst Brian Nowak said LinkedIn's earnings power is still underappreciated, and that he believes the company's marketing solutions platform, which comprises roughly 20% of revenue, will become the "Facebook for professional advertising," leading to more top-line beats and margin expansion, he said. The initiation comes two weeks after the professional social network handily beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter expectations, with sales growing 44% year-over-year and marketing solutions becoming its fastest-growing segment. LinkedIn has an average stock rating of overweight and average target rating of $289.91 among more than 25 analysts in a FactSet poll. Its shares were up 1.6% in premarket trade. They were up nearly 26.5% on the last 12 months, as of Wednesday's close.

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