LinkedIn’s major business segments continue to see solid growth, and that growth is expected to continue for the near future. In particular, Canaccord Genuity analysts see the greatest potential in the social network’s Marketing Solutions segment.
LinkedIn sees opportunities in Marketing Solutions
In a report dated March 12, analysts Michael Graham and Austin Moldow said they have increased their target price from $285 to $300 per share and reiterated their Buy rating. They call LinkedIn “a fan favorite” and said they haven’t found that many doubters since the company released its fourth quarter earnings report.
They especially like the social network’s Marketing Solutions segment due to “favorable product transitions.” They point out that growth in Sponsored Updates and the Lead Accelerator enabled with Bizo should help spur more growth. Currently Sponsored updates is on mobile, but they think the ad rate is still low and could provide a way for LinkedIn to increase its inventory meaningfully.
Engagement is on track
The Canaccord Genuity team further said they expect engagement to keep growing, just as it has been. LinkedIn had 347 million members as of the end of 2014 and is growing 25% year over year. (All graphs in this report are courtesy Canaccord Genuity.)
They’re expecting “a major user experience overhaul” this year that will drive even further engagement. Unique visitors grew 19% to 87 million last year, and mobile audience is also increasing, with mobile making up nearly half of the social network’s traffic last year. The Canaccord team points out that mobile visitors have higher click-through rates than desktop visitors, so they are more valuable.
Sales Navigator, Talent Solutions improving too
The analysts believe adoption of Sales Navigator is “progressing nicely” and estimate that LinkedIn has about 200,000 subscribers to the service currently. They think the segment has some nice potential for growth over the next few quarters.
They add that LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions looks stable for now, but they expect growth with “more SKUs at more optimal price points” in the medium term. In the long term, they think the “learning” segment and “employment marketplace” offer more potential for LinkedIn to benefit from “transaction-like products.”
As of this writing, shares of LinkedIn were up by 0.23% to $265.55 per share.