By Leena Rao
Shortly after ringing the bell on the New York Stock Exchange, LinkedIn’s (LNKD) CEO Jeff Weiner talked to Bloomberg Television about the IPO and the company’s future plans. You can watch the full video here. As we reported this morning, the company began trading at $83.00 per share, an 84 percent increase from initial pricing of $45 per share, giving LinkedIn a $7.8 billion market cap. Shares have climbed as high as $122 per share in mid-morning trading.
While some are crying Bubble, Weiner told Bloomberg that he is "very comfortable" with the IPO price. He said:
We spent a lot of time with the right kind of investors -- folks who understand the story, the fundamentals, who are in it for the long haul. That’s our focus. We’re in it for the long haul in terms of realizing the potential and opportunity of this platform. In terms of today’s initial trades, we’ll leave that to the marketplace. I wouldn’t read too much into any one day of trading. We’re in this for the long-term. As we continue to focus on executing our business, the fundamentals will be there and the stock price will take care of itself.
He also said that the company will be using the new funds for investments in small acquisitions, technology and additional expansion, especially in Europe. He tells Bloomberg:
Europe is a great story for us. It was the first marketplace outside of the U.S. where we established a sales and marketing office, in London. It has grown materially since that time.
Here's Weiner on investing in products and technology:
As you can see from 2010, EBITDA margins have expanded nicely. We decided this year was going to be an investment for us. That’s largely based on the fact that over the several quarters we have seen accelerating topline growth. We believe this is an increasing returns business.
We are operating in two very large addressable markets in terms of Hiring Solutions and Marketing Solutions. We want to get after that opportunity. We will be investing in the underlying technology platform, the products and our member experience, launching more products that our members love. We’ll be investing in our global sales force to make sure we can keep up with our demand. We’re going to continue to push out local languages and sales and marketing offices on a global basis.
Weiner said of acquisitions:
On the acquisition front, we will probably stay toward the smaller end of that range, looking for talent and for technology that can accelerate our product roadmap. If we find potential tuck-ins that could be accretive on a top and bottom line basis, we would obviously consider those as well. It’s an exciting day for us.
Weiner on revenue:
We are very fortunate to have this diverse group of business lines. We have hiring solutions that enables recruiters to recruit from over 100 million members and really perform the perfect search. Marketing solutions and ad sales, which enables marketers to target a pretty unique audience in terms of value-added, influence, affluence and education …. The premium subscriptions audience which enables us to cherrypick products and services to get them in front of the right member at the right time. We’re going to continue to invest across that portfolio. Today, hiring solutions is the largest and fastest growing of the three. We’re feeling good about the prospects for all of our lines.