LinkedIn follows Twitter, shocks social media investors

Fri May 1, 2015 11:42am EDT
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By Abhirup Roy and Tenzin Pema

(Reuters) - Another day, another shock for investors in social media stocks.

Shares of LinkedIn Corp, operator of the most popular social network for professionals, fell 20 percent in early trading on Friday, wiping out more than $6 billion of market value, after the company slashed its full-year forecast.

LinkedIn reported on Thursday its slowest quarterly revenue growth since it went public four years ago.

The surprisingly weak results followed Twitter Inc's on Tuesday. Twitter's stock fell by as much as 24 percent, slicing about $6 billion off its market value.

Even Facebook Inc posted its slowest growth in quarterly revenue in two years last Wednesday, and its shares have fallen about five percent since.

Facebook's earnings were better than expected, though, and the comparatively small drop in its stock price indicated a level of investor confidence not shown to Twitter and LinkedIn.

LinkedIn cited slower revenue growth in its hiring business and a delay in recognizing revenue from - the online education company it agreed to buy last month - for its weaker results and cut in profit and revenue forecast.

LinkedIn's shares fell to about $200 in early trading, far below their record high of $276.17 reached in late February.   Continued...

The logo for LinkedIn Corporation, a social networking networking website for people in professional occupations, is shown in Mountain View, California February 6, 2013.   REUTERS/Robert Galbraith