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Ahead of the Bell: LinkedIn to share 3Q results

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) -- LinkedIn's third-quarter earnings are expected to show the Internet's largest professional networking service is still growing at a robust rate.

The results, due out after the stock market closes Thursday, will likely have to top analysts' projections to push LinkedIn's high-flying stock greater heights.

LinkedIn Corp. has consistently impressed investors since it priced its initial public offering of stock at $45 in May 2011. Since then, LinkedIn's website has added 72 million members, a 70 percent increase that has helped the company increase its revenue that so far has outpaced analyst projections.

That's the main reason LinkedIn's shares have more than doubled from their IPO price of $45. The stock closed Wednesday at $106.93.

Analysts expect LinkedIn's revenue in the third quarter totaled about $245 million, which would be an increase of more than 40 percent from the same time last year. Excluding the company's costs for employee stock compensation, Wall Street is looking for LinkedIn to earn 11 cents per share. LinkedIn earned 6 cents per share last year on the same accounting basis.