Goldman: LinkedIn's Growth Metrics Are On Fire, And It's Crushing The Competition

Linkedin office

Photo: Jim Edwards / BI

Heath Terry at Goldman Sachs has slapped a BUY rating on LinkedIn, an upgrade from the firm’s previous ‘neutral’ rating. It’s raising its price target to $135/share, saying the stock offers 47% upside?Why the optimism on LinkedIn?

Here are some key bullet points from the report:

  • Goldman’s own proprietary checks are showing strong enterprise adoption. Recruiters love the product, which is cheaper than competitive offerings.
  • The new offerings like Today, Groups, and Mobile are showing strong user engagement.
  • The ‘Hiring Solutions’ business — which is 50% of LinkedIn revenue — grew 156% in 2011. That unit will grow at an average growth rate of 45% over the next five years.
  • At the end of 2011, LinkedIn 145 million registered members, up 60% year over year.
  • That number is now over 150 million, just as of the end of February.
  • International growth is particularly strong, and the opportunity is still huge, with just 4% penetration into the global professional workforce.
  • Meanwhile, LinkedIn is gobbling up share in the Career Services space.

Photo: Goldman Sachs

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