LinkedIn stock slides after Barclays downgrade

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of LinkedIn Corp. fell Wednesday after a Barclays analyst downgraded the professional networking service saying its stock price has enjoyed a good run but may now be too high.

THE SPARK: "The stock has significantly outperformed both the market and peers over the past 12 months and we remain positive on both the short-term (fourth-quarter) as well as the long-term outlook," wrote analyst Mark May in a note to investors. He added that with LinkedIn's stock now trading at a premium to its peer companies and near his target price of $125, his "bullish outlook is largely factored in."

He downgraded LinkedIn to "Equal Weight" from "Overweight."

BACKGROUND: LinkedIn was the first of the big social networking companies and new Internet companies to go public, preceding Facebook Inc., Zynga Inc. and Groupon Inc. Other than LinkedIn, all trade below their initial public offering prices. But investors have embraced LinkedIn since its IPO on May 19, 2011, a year before Facebook's. Accelerating growth and an increase in its user base has helped LinkedIn get on investors' good sides.

SHARE ACTION: LinkedIn shares fell $2.56, or 2.2 percent, to $112.26. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $61.28 to $125.50.