JP Morgan Correct on Bullish LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) Call

LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD)  was the topic this week of a Barron’s article titled, “A Gutsy Pre-Earnings Wager on LinkedIn” which highlighted JPMorgan analyst Douglas Anmuth’s positive outlook on this social media company prior to its earnings release.

The article published late Tuesday talked about how Anmuth projected a good earnings report, solid financials overall and user growth base momentum. His price target was at $235 per share with an overweight rating prior to the company’s earnings announcement.

The article also outlined an aggressive trade idea identified by JPMorgan strategists Arjun Mehra and Marko Kolanovic which suggests selling LNKD’s August $165 puts and buying the August $190 calls.

Following the article, LinkedIn (LNKD) on Thursday reported Q2 revenue of $534 million, up 47% from $364 million recorded in Q2 last year. This was well ahead of the analyst consensus of $510 million on Capital IQ.  Non-GAAP EPS was $0.51, up from $0.38 per share last year and well ahead of the Street view of $0.39 per share.

Despite a tough market day, LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) shares are soaring 10% in early afternoon trade to $198.90.  Today, several analysts have weighed in on the numbers.  Pacific Crest is increasing their price target on the stock from $220 to $250, despite indicating that user metrics still remain a concern.  They find the valuation attractive however and are maintaining their Outperform rating.

JPMorgan also boosted their price target following the announcement, citing solid second quarter results as they had predicted.  They now have a $241 target and are keeping their Overweight rating on the company.




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