"Management has discussed [the China launch] previously, and we learned from a separate NDR with MDC Partners that one of their agencies has been hired to begin a public relations outreach for LinkedIn (LNKD) in China," says analyst Daniel Salmon, upping the stock to a Buy with $235 price target. "We assume a formal launch in 2014, with monetization beginning to ramp in 2015."
Salmon's team also likes LinkedIn's increasing focus on salespeople (LinkedIn believes there are 6x as many in sales on the platform as there are HR personnel), with a stand-alone product expected to ramp in 2015.
"We also expect the hiring of Penry Price to lead ad sales to improve the relationship with the agency community; some ad products will likely be culled and a continued heavy focus on Sponsored Updates is expected."
Shares +1.6% premarket