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LinkedIn Thinks Bigger

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Years ago, as millions were released from MySpace's animated GIF jail and moved into Facebook's neighborhood of bugged tract houses, many were also registering at LinkedIn's unemployment offices. Essentially the "working man's social network," LinkedIn connected coworkers and professional associates to help them work up the ol' corporate ladder. The site proved to be a hit, appealing to seasoned career vets and young adults entering the workforce, and has amassed over 100 million users.

And now, days before it will begin trading on on the New York Stock Exchange, LinkedIn believes it's worth a little more than it previously thought.

Filing for an IPO in January, the company originally valued its offering between $32 and $35 per share, or roughly $3 billion. But today in a new filing, LinkedIn boosted its IPO price range by 30% to between $42 and $45 per share -- upping the valuation to $4.11 billion. As a result of the price increase, the company now plans to net $352 million -- as opposed to the $175 million it expected in January.

LinkedIn will be offering 7,840,000 shares -- 4.83 million from the company, 3.01 million from the stockholders.

Many attribute LinkedIn's growing revenue as influencing the boosted valuation. TechCrunch's Leena Rao notes the company's first quarter revenue was up 110% to $93.9 million and net income hit $2.08 million, up from $1.81 million in 2010's first quarter.

But when LNKD hits the NYSE, all eyes will be watching its performance as an early indicator for when other top social networks finally go public. Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, and Zynga have piqued investor interest, but -- as Reuters reports -- the longer they wait, the more they risk cooling off that interest.

After all, looking back to January 2000, Palm had filed for an IPO at $14 to $16 per share, increased it to $30 to $32 per share, and debuted in March at $38 per share.

Last year, Hewlett-Packard bought Palm for $5.70 a share.
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