LinkedIn breaks $150 even as analysts defend, upgrade

|About: LinkedIn (LNKD)|By:, SA News Editor

LinkedIn (LNKD -7.5%) hasn't received any downgrades since offering light guidance with its Q1 beat, and has even caught an upgrade to Buy from UBS. Eight firms have cut their PTs, but it's worth noting many of those targets were set when shares were soundly above $200.

UBS' Eric Sheridan asserts LinkedIn now offers "one of the best risk/rewards in our coverage universe," and notes it still has “a first mover (and sustainable) advantage as a social network for the professional community on a global scale.” His PT remains at $225.

BMO calls Q1 "a non-event," and is upbeat about recently-acquired Bright's ability to help LinkedIn "better match employers to job seekers," and perhaps eventually connect salespeople to leads. FBN observes LinkedIn is usually conservative with its guidance, and that mobile now accounts for 43% of unique visitors.

Raymond James remains positive on LinkedIn's potential, but also notes Talent Solutions customer adds (1,400) missed Street expectations, and considers shares "fairly valued" at 8x 2014E EV/sales. FBR (PT cut to $141 from $190) worries management comments point to slowing engagement and revenue growth.

Q1 results, guidance/details, CC transcript