LinkedIn ( LNKD) stands out as the IPO success story of 2011. Since going public, the professional social network has more than doubled in price, avoiding the unceremonious drops in other social media names such Facebook ( FB). LinkedIn's advantage comes from a simple reality: It's only social network that's actually monetized helping users do what they want to do.
LinkedIn's eponymous Web site connects more than 215 million users with colleagues who can help them land jobs, fill them or figure out business problems. While other social media firms earn revenue by distracting their users from what they're trying to do (and getting them to click on ads while stalking their friends, for instance), LNKD makes money by helping users with the exact task they're trying to accomplish: find a job, network or hire someone. That seems like a small distinction, but it's critical to LinkedIn's ability to make money off of each user.The shaky jobs market of the last few years has actually been a positive factor for LinkedIn, spurring more users to log onto the firm's website to hunt for jobs or candidates. That, in turn, has helped to drive revenues at LinkedIn. There's no question that shares of LNKD are expensive at their current valuation. Still, with this stock's breakneck growth and momentum in its price action, it makes sense to bet on shares this week.