Professional networking site aspires to be huge global business database
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. — LinkedIn and Facebook will celebrate the anniversaries of their IPOs just a few days apart this week. But their experiences as publicly traded companies couldn’t be more different.
LinkedIn Corp. promotes its service as a steppingstone to a more enriching career. As it turns out, the professional networking company’s initial public offering was a great place to start a rewarding investmentportfolio, too.
LinkedIn’s stock has nearly quadrupled in value from its $45 IPO price on May 20 two years ago. On Monday, it closed at $175.03 a share. In contrast, Facebook’s stock is hovering around $27 a share, down 29 percent since it debuted May 18, 2012 at $38.
LinkedIn is emerging as the standout performer among its cohort of hotly anticipated IPOs from Internet companies that connect people with common interests.
The company is growing faster and yielding far better shareholder returns than the rest of a class that includes online deals maker Groupon Inc., Web game maker Zynga Inc. and business review site Yelp Inc., as well social networking leader Facebook Inc.
With the exception of Yelp, the stocks of all those other companies are stuck well below their initial public offering prices. Although Groupon and Zynga have fared worse, Facebook has been the highest-profile disappointment.
But for all its success, LinkedIn still hasn’t immersed itself into people’s lives and reshaped technology as profoundly as Facebook has.
Although LinkedIn has been attracting more frequent visits since its IPO, people still spend far more time on Facebook and share more of their lives there.
LinkedIn now has market value approaching $20 billion and employs about 4,000 people. There will be space for nearly 3,000 more when LinkedIn moves from Mountain View, Calif., to nearby Sunnyvale.