LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) Shares Soar, Will “Improve the Product for Future Growth.”

LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD)

LinkedIn Corp  jumped in Wednesday’s pre-market after a positive report on the firm emerged from Barclays. Paul Vogel, who wrote the report for the British bank, said that he was “increasingly confident in LNKD’s long-term positioning and upside.” He put a $250 price target on the firm’s shares.

LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD)

Shares in LinkedIn have had a tough time so far in 2015. Year-to-date-losses now amount to close to 7 percent. Mr. Vogel is looking at that as an opportunity for buyers. He calls the firm’s current price an “attractive entry point.” The firm’s core business it, says Vogel, still strong, and there’s a lot of product improvement that can be done to make cash flow look healthy.

LinkedIn looks to poor earnings

Mr. Vogel says that the problems that struck LinkedIn last time around shouldn’t become long term. The firm’s results suffered from weakness in Talent Solutions and Marketing Services in the first three months of the year. Mr. Vogel says that these are not fundamental issues, and the firm should be able to sort them out in the months ahead.

He doesn’t absolve LinkedIn  of all fault, however. It “does have some work to do on targeting and tools (at least relative to their peers), but we believe demand is still high with a big opportunity to improve the product for future growth,” says Vogel.

That doesn’t mean that shares are going to pop right after earnings. Mr. Vogel doesn’t think that “Q2 will necessarily be a catalyst for the shares.” He says that Wall Street’s forecast have been reworked for 2015 and 2016 and that the changes mean there could be upside to results later on this year.

Analysts are expecting LinkedIn to show a loss of 53 cents per share in the coming quarter by consensus. For the full year they’re looking for earnings of 96 cents per share from the firm.

After poor results since going public, Wall Street is looking for 2016 to be a breakout year at LinkedIn. Mean estimates of 19 analysts studying the firm show that Wall Street expects EPS of $3.40 for the full year 2016.

Morgan Stanley added fuel to today’s LinkedIn rise after it added the firm to its Vintage Values list. The list comprises stocks “with over $1 billion in market cap that look likely to realize superior risk-adjusted returns between now and July 2016.” Last year’s list had an overall return of 9.4 percent.

LinkedIn was joined on that list by the likes of Apple, Bank of America and Comcast, but it was the sole representative of social media.

Earnings from the firm will arrive on July 30 after the market closes for the day.

Tracking growth at LinkedIn

Despite the firm’s poor earnings performance since going public, LinkedIn  shares are up by close to 130 percent since IPO day.

Pacific Crest’s Evan Wilson said in a recent report on the firm that the poor Q1 results could be a boon to traders trying to play the firm in the long term. He said that LinkedIn is “well for the rest of the year and into a promising 2016.”

BMO Capital analyst Daniel Salmon said that shares in the firm are worth $280 in a report published on June 25. He thinks that the market will react well to a slew of new products the firm is set to put out in the second half of next year.

Future growth is being promised by those on Wall Street, but each report carries with it the seed of a warning. LinkedIn has performed poorly in the past because of product and messaging problems. That means an elevated risk of that happening once again in the future.

Update 13:44 EST: Added info on the Morgan Stanley Vintage Value list inclusion of LinkedIn.

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