Once ridiculed by the techno-cognoscenti as "Facebook for losers," LinkedIn now exerts profound influence on professional networking and recruiting around the globe. The company's membership is also branching out beyond just corporate executives and attracts creative people from all walks of life.

Since its IPO in 2011, LinkedIn has consistently produced strong and growing earnings, as opposed to the checkered performance of social media competitors such as Facebook and Twitter. Indeed, vulnerable stocks such as Twitter belong to a class of dangerous investments you should either sell or shun right now.

LinkedIn's management is intent on expanding the company's international footprint in 2016, particularly in the developing countries of South America, Asia, the Middle East and India, where technologically savvy consumers are entering the middle class and are becoming attuned to the importance of professional networking.

The spread of corporate outsourcing to India has made the country a source of enormous opportunity for LinkedIn. The majority of Indian members on LinkedIn toil in the growing fields of information technology, computer software, telecommunications, and financial services. Accordingly, LinkedIn has opened new offices in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.

The company's trailing 12-month price-to-sales ratio of 10.84 compares favorably to Facebook's trailing 12-month price-to-sales ratio of 18.80. With LinkedIn's stock price now trading at $229, analysts on average are projecting a one-year target of $280, for a gain of about 22%.

With a market cap of $30.12 billion, a fast-growing membership, brand-name affinity with users, diverse revenue streams and an aggressive expansion strategy for the future, LinkedIn is linked into growth.

As we've just explained, LinkedIn looks like a smart way to profit from the increasing pervasiveness of social media. But when a correction or terrorist attack occurs in 2016, there's a group of stocks that will hit the skids and never recover. Click here for a free report that lists the dangerous stocks you should sell immediately.

 

John Persinos is editorial manager and investment analyst at Investing Daily. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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