The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (
) -- President Obama's ambitious $447 billion Jobs Act is a significant opportunity for
to capitalize on the increased hiring expected by small businesses in the U.S. With Obama's town hall meeting hosted by LinkedIn itself, the professional networking site benefits from even greater visibility after its much-hyped IPO earlier this year.
However, the big question is whether or not LinkedIn manages to work as efficiently for small businesses as it does for its large and well-known corporate clients as this is the real key to job growth and the underlying message Obama was promoting. LinkedIn competes with other online job portals such as
. It also competes in the online advertising space with
our complete stock analysis for LinkedIn
With LinkedIn being chosen as the host for Obama's town hall meeting this past Monday, the company benefited from greater visibility and an implied endorsement from the White House as a job creator and innovator given its focus on professional networking. Additionally, despite the U.S. unemployment rate in the plus-9% range, there are still around 3.2 million available jobs in the country. This presents a big opportunity for LinkedIn to bridge this employment gap.
Given Obama's pressing need to improve the economic sentiment in the U.S., much of which relies on employment growth, it would not be a surprise if LinkedIn gets further endorsement from large and small businesses presenting a clear upside to its user base which is already 120-million strong.
While being in the public spotlight never hurts, the challenge for LinkedIn is whether it manages to help small businesses find the right employees. LinkedIn's professional networking features -- while being highly useful -- do not come cheap. Willing employers have to shell out well over a hundred dollars to get their job posting up for 30 days. While large corporates can afford these fees as well as maintain their professional accounts, small businesses do not have comparable resources to invest in their job postings. LinkedIn needs to take that extra step in order to help these businesses, whether it's through discounts or other promotional plans.
We currently hold a
price estimate of $34 for LinkedIn's stock
, which is well below the current market price.
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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.