NEW YORK — LinkedIn on Tuesday raised the share price for its public listing by roughly 30 percent, pushing the value of the professional-networking firm as high as $4 billion and testing the market’s lust for Internet companies.
The first major US social networking firm to go public, LinkedIn jacked up its expected IPO share price for 7.84 million shares to between $42 and $45, just a week after it first set a target of $32-35 per share.
The sale could bring in more than $354 million and see the shares trading on the New York Stock Exchange as early as Thursday.
In case of high investor demand, the company has set aside an additional 1.18 million shares for offering that could raise the take to $406 million.
LinkedIn, whose members cultivate and manage their careers and business networks online, initially set a target of $175 million when it registered for its IPO with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in January.
It said its wants the money to fuel expansion.
Its debut will be closely watched by investors ahead of a potential listing next year by social networking titan Facebook, which has more than 500 million members around the world.
LinkedIn has more than 100 million members in over 200 countries and territories. Forty-four million live in the United States and 56 million outside of the country.
Membership grew by 428 percent in Brazil last year, 178 percent in Mexico, 76 percent in India and 72 percent in France.
The company more than doubled its revenue last year to $243 million, according to its SEC filing.
It reported a net profit of $3.42 million in 2010 after suffering a loss in 2009.
But it does not expect to be profitable this year as it steps up investment aimed at generating further growth.
Revenue comes from advertising, subscriptions for premium services, and “hiring solutions” that connect recruiters with candidates.
LinkedIn’s biggest shareholder is its founder and chairman, Reid Hoffman, who owns more than 21 percent of the company.1