LinkedIn Capital Raise Aims to Bolster Its Finances Rather Than Shareholder Gains

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LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) has filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a secondary offering of $1 billion in the company’s Class A common stock. The underwriters have a 30-day option on an additional 15% of the number of shares in the offering. No per share price nor number of shares was specified.

According to the filing, LinkedIn plans to use the proceeds:

[T]o increase our financial flexibility and to further strengthen our balance sheet. We intend to use the net proceeds from the shares we are offering 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.

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That’s some war chest. The company reported more than $870 million in cash and short-term investments at the end of June and when receivables are tossed in, well, the total reaches beyond $1 billion.

Last year the company spent about $452 million on SG&A and another $260 million on R&D, and today’s announced stock offering would indicate that the company expects these expenditures to rise even higher. The surprising thing is that investors have not rebelled -- yet.

Shares are trading down in after-hours trading on Thursday at $241.30, off about 2% from the closing price of $246.13. The stock’s 52-week range is $94.75 to $247.98.

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