LinkedIn IPO Values Company at $4 Billion

The social network prices its IPO at $45 a share; stock begins trading Thursday.

LinkedIn, the social network for the business-minded, priced its upcoming initial public offering at $45 a share on Wednesday, giving it a market value of $4 billion.

It's the most significant IPO for an online company since Google went public almost seven years ago at a market value of around $23 billion.

The stock should begin trading Thursday under the ticker symbol LNKD.

The IPO raised $353 million for the company, or $217 million after banking and other fees. Some of the big Wall Street winners involved with LinkedIn include Bain Capital Venture and Goldman Sachs Group, along with Reid Hoffman, a co-founder and executive chairman whose stake in LinkedIn is suddenly worth north of $850 million.

Wall Street was abuzz Wednesday with speculation on which social Internet company would be next with an IPO. Contenders include Facebook, Twitter, Groupon and Zynga.

LinkedIn boasts 100 million users, but it recorded only $15 million in net income in 2010 on revenue of $243 million, mostly from advertisers and job recruiters. 

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