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Citi analyst upgrades LinkedIn to 'Buy'

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Citi analyst on Wednesday raised his rating for LinkedIn Corp. to "Buy" from "Neutral," saying that the recent drop in the business networking company's stock makes it an attractive investment.

THE OPINION: Analyst Mark Mahaney said he has always viewed LinkedIn as one of the strongest stocks to emerge from the slew of Internet companies going public over the past year. He had planned to upgrade its shares if the price fell.

Based on his $125 price target, the recent drop in the Mountain View, Calif.-based company's stock now provides for growth of about 25 percent, Mahaney said.

The analyst also pointed to LinkedIn's "impressive" results over its four quarters as a public company, recent survey results that show that its customers are satisfied and continued growth in its job-posting revenue.

THE SHARES: Down $1.84 to $98.10 in afternoon trading.

LinkedIn shares priced at $45 when they went public in May 2011 and more than doubled in their first day of trading. Over the past 52 weeks, they have traded between $55.98 and $120.63.

Since the beginning of this year, the shares have risen about 59 percent, but have lost about 15 percent of their value in over the past three weeks.