LinkedIn Stock Could Rise 25% This Year

Goldman Sachs added LinkedIn Corp. to its Conviction Buy List on Tuesday, saying it expects the company to beat top-line expectations when it reports fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. The brokerage also raised its price target on the career-focused social network to $280 from $250, predicting a 25% 12-month return potential. On Monday, LinkedIn closed at $224.57. Its shares were up 2.9% to $231 in premarket trade. Goldman said that while LinkedIn will likely give a conservative outlook when it reports earnings on Thursday, it expects the company's Sales Navigator product and an improvement in mobile usage to drive margin expansion "beyond consensus estimates" over the course of 2015. Separately, Wedbush backed its neutral rating and $200 price target on LinkedIn, saying it expects the company to report above the high end of the Wall Street consensus, but wants more clarity around the timing of uptake for newer revenue and growth drivers such as China and sponsored updates. Here's what to expect when LinkedIn reports on Thursday.

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