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) --



was the talk of Wall Street on Thursday after a whirlwind public debut for the business-oriented social networking company that ranked with the best first-day IPO performances of the past two years.

The stock closed at $94.25, up 109%, on volume of more than 30 million. The shares priced Wednesday at $45 each, the top of an anticipated $42-$45 range, in an offering that raised more than $400 million, and gave the company an instant market capitalization of $4.25 billion. The latest after-hours quote had the stock at $92.99, down 1.3%, on volume of around 45,000, according to


At current levels, the company's paper value is pushed close to $9 billion. The stock ranged between a low of $80 and a high of $122.70.

According to data from research firm

Bespoke Investment Group

, LinkedIn ranks third on the best debut list for the current bull market dating back to March 2009. It comes in behind


, the Chinese Internet video company whose shares jumped finished more than 160% higher on their first trading session on Dec. 7, 2010; and

Qihoo 360 Technology


, a Chinese provider of Internet and mobile security products whose stock gained 134% when it debuted on March 29, 2011. has continued to outperform since its volatile first day. Based on Thursday's regular session close at $49.59, the stock is up 287% from its pricing at $12.80 per American Depositary Receipt share. By comparison, Qihoo 360 has only been able to retain most of its debut gain. With Thursday's finish at $28.52, it's up 97% from its ADRs' original pricing at $14.50.

LinkedIn's surge has

stoked plenty of debate

, mostly centering on what the move means for the implied valuations (and potential IPOs) of names like




, and whether or not the company's financials can back up the valuation.

In the latest S-1 filing related to its offering, LinkedIn said it earned $2.1 million on revenue of $94 million for the three months ended on March 31. For the whole of 2010, the company posted a profit of $15.4 million on revenue of $243 million. LinkedIn also stated that it doesn't expect to be profitable on a GAAP

generally accepted accounting principles basis in 2011, and that it anticipates its revenue growth rate will decline.

In light of this incredible run-up,


is asking its readers where they expect the stock to be a week from today.


Written by Michael Baron in New York.

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Michael Baron


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