LinkedIn shares plunge almost 44 percent

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Investors gave LinkedIn a poor job review today in the form of a dramatic sell-off that wiped out nearly $11 billion in the professional networking site's market value.

A surprise forecast for slower growth this year sent LinkedIn shares into a stomach-turning plunge of almost 44 percent.

After the market closed Thursday, the online company reported better-than-expected earnings for the last quarter but warned that revenue would fall short of what analysts had projected for 2016. It also said it was discontinuing a new online advertising system that hadn't worked out.

Several analysts noted that LinkedIn has a track record of issuing conservative forecasts and later beating them, but this time investors were shaken by the company's financial guidance. The stock closed today at $108.38 after its worst slide since LinkedIn went public in 2011.

LinkedIn said it expects revenue of about $3.6 billion to $3.65 billion for this year, while analysts surveyed by FactSet were projecting sales of $3.9 billion.

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