LinkedIn to Sell $1 Billion More in Stock

logo_linkedin_92x22What’s LinkedIn planning to buy?

The speculation that the giant, and hugely profitable, business network is planning to make a major acquisition began moments after it announced it was planning to sell $1 billion worth of stock.

In a filing this afternoon with the Securities and Exchange Commission, LinkedIn said it intended to use the money from the sale

…primarily for general corporate purposes, including working capital, further expansion of our product development and field sales organizations, international expansion, general administrative matters and for capital expenditures, including infrastructure. In addition, we may use a portion of the proceeds from this offering for strategic acquisitions of, or investments in, complementary businesses, technologies or other assets.

The company prefaced those comments declaring “The principal purposes of this offering are to increase our financial flexibility and to further strengthen our balance sheet.” However, with $873 million in cash and short-term investments, LinkedIn’s balance sheet is already plenty strong, which is what’s fueling the speculation that the company has its eye on an acquisition, or possibly more than one.

Last year, LinkedIn bought SlideShare for $119 million and then in April this year it bought the mobile content platform and news reader Pulse for $90 million.

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In a note about the SEC filing, investment site SeekingAlpha wondered aloud about the use of the $1 billion, asking, “Is the company looking to make a big acquisition?”

A company spokeswoman declined to comment on the announcement or the speculation.

Following the announcement, shares of LinkedIn fell $5.13 to $241.70 in after-hours trading. The billion sale would increase the number of shares by 3% or 4,165,972 at Friday’s closing price of $240.04.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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