As Viadeo Shelves IPO, LinkedIn Set To Begin Trading On Thursday

As one professional network puts its IPO plans on hold, another is readying to go public on Thursday. Reuters reported this morning that Viadeo, the world’s second-largest professional network, is putting off its IPO plans to focus on growing its core business. Professional social networking giant LinkedIn is set to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange this Thursday, under the symbol LNKD.

As we wrote last week LinkedIn revealed that it is pricing its IPO between $32.00 and $35.00 per share (for a total of 7,840,000 shares); valuing the company between $3 billion and $3.3 billion. LinkedIn is raising as much as $274 million in the offering.

So how will the street respond to LinkedIn? One thing in LinkedIn’s favor is that it is growing revenue—the company just reported that Q1 revenue in 2011 was up 110 percent to $93.9 million. Net income increased to $2.08 million, from $1.81 million in Q1 2010. The increase in sales came from the company’s hiring solutions, a paid offering which helps recruiters search for professionals and list jobs on the site. But the question is whether LinkedIn can accelerate this revenue growth.

However, many of the previous public offerings in the tech world this year have not performed particularly well. Chinese social networking giant RenRen pricedits IPO at $14 per share, but shares quickly slipped below this offering price shortly after trading began on the NYSE.

Many analysts are expecting demand to be strong for LinkedIn.

As we wrote in January, Chairman and co-founder Reid Hoffman is LinkedIn’s largest shareholder, owning 21.4 percent of the company. Sequoia Capital and Greylock are the second and third largest shareholders.