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LinkedIn's first-day stock pop: Not even close to 1990s dot-com madness

May 19, 2011 | 11:54 am

LinkedIn Corp.'s shares are making a spectacular debut in the market, as nearly everyone expected they would.

But in terms of the frothiness quotient, the social networking site's initial public offering is a piker compared with what we saw during the late-1990s dot-com madness -- before it all came crashing down in 2000 and 2001.

LinkedIn, which went public at $45 late Wednesday, rose as high as $122.69 on Thursday and was trading at $103 at about 11:50 a.m. PDT, with about an hour of trading left.

Linked Updated at 1:30 p.m.: LinkedIn closed at $94.25, for a first-day pop of 109%.

That's going to make plenty of the IPO buyers rich (or just richer). But it ranks far down the list of the all-time biggest first-day IPO gains.

The modern record is held by VA Linux, which made servers and workstations equipped with the once-vaunted Linux operating system. On Dec. 8, 1999, the company went public at $30 a share and rocketed to close at $239.25, for a first-day gain of 698%, according to IPO investment advisory firm Renaissance Capital.

Nine other stock debuts of the dot-com era posted first-day increases of at least 427%.

But LinkedIn also trails even more recent IPOs. The largest gain for any IPO since 2001 (after the bursting of the tech bubble) belongs to Chinese Internet search engine firm Baidu.com, which soared 354% in its debut on Aug. 4, 2005.

Here is the list of the 10 biggest first-day IPO pops of all time:

Firm......................Date..............First-day gain

VA Linux................12/08/99........698%
Exodus Commun....03/18/98........637%
Theglobe.com........11/12/98........606%
Foundry Networks....09/27/99....525%
webMethods...........02/10/00......508%
MarketWatch.com...01/14/99.....505%
FreeMarkets...........12/09/99......483%
Cobalt Networks.....11/04/99......482%
Akamai Tech...........10/28/99......458%
CacheFlow..............11/18/99........427%

-- Tom Petruno

RELATED:

As LinkedIn soars, questions are raised about its pricing

LinkedIn prices IPO at $45 a share

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