LinkedIn Rises on Activism Talk, Intel Falls on Mixed Merger Reaction

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- LinkedIn (LNKD) rose for a second consecutive day Tuesday, following reports that activist shareholders may be getting a foothold in the social networking company. Intel (INTC) dropped after mixed reactions from analysts regarding its massive Altera (ALTR) buyout. Google (GOOG) (GOOGL) edged higher as it moves closer to launching its project Loon.

LinkedIn jumped 2% to close at $204.81, on a day when the broader markets fell.

The social networking site reportedly is attracting the interest of Carl Icahn, who may take a stake in the company, according to a report in Schaeffer's Investment Research. With talk of Icahn's interest emerging on Monday, LinkedIn's shares have risen 4.8% over the past two days, since its close of $194.93 on Friday.

A Barron's report, meanwhile, highlights talk that "unnamed activist investors" are taking a role in the company. One common dance between activist investors and reluctant companies involves a proxy fight where an activist seeks to grab some board seats on the target company by putting a vote to shareholders. However, in other cases, a deal can be worked out where an accommodating company will create or open a board seat for an activist shareholder or their representative.

LinkedIn is scheduled to have its annual shareholder's meeting Wednesday, in which one shareholder proposal is on the table asking for more diversity on LinkedIn's board of directors. The board is making on recommendation of how investors should vote on this matter.


Intel fell 1.9% to end the session at $33.27.

The chip maker received mixed reviews on its pending $16.7 billion merger with Altera, a deal that is the largest to date for Intel. 

BMO Capital, for example, stated: "We do not like Intel's acquisition of Altera. We really do not see the opportunity/rationale that Intel is laying out for parting with ~ $17 billion."  

But Pacific Crest Securities, however, favors the deal, noting, "We view Altera as a strategic and synergistic fit for Intel and remain positive on the deal."

Some of the issues that Pacific Crest particularly pointed out, according to a Portland Business Journal report, included how the deal will help Intel diversify its product offering as PC sales fall and also boost its efforts in serving the data center market.


Google edged 0.97% higher to close at $539.18.

The company announced plans to launch its Project Loon in the Northern Hemisphere later this year, according to a report in Forbes

Project Loon aims to bring Internet access to remote and rural areas where Internet access is not readily available. The project uses balloons that are equipped with antennas and other electronics to provide Internet access with the help of telecommunications companies.

With more consumers logging onto the Internet, Google stands to benefit from more users taking advantage of the company's services and potentially more eyeballs to view ads on the site, which is its bread and butter for revenue.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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