LinkedIn: Working from the Ground Floor

Of all companies, LinkedIn  can fully appreciate the time it takes to remove a black mark from a resume.

The business-focused social network has been at it since early February when its stock price collapsed following a disappointing earnings report and forecast. It didn’t help that the report came in the midst of a market-wide selloff that targeted other richly valued tech stocks. The Nasdaq Composite slid 3% the same day that LinkedIn’s value was shredded by 44%.

LinkedIn’s stock price is up about 36% since bottoming around $100, though it’s still about 40% below its value from the start of the year. That’s enough of an opening for Mark Mahaney of RBC Capital, who upgraded the stock to outperform late Wednesday, citing survey work pointing to strong demand for LinkedIn’s services from human resources professionals, as well as big opportunities for the company’s marketing solutions business.

Mr. Mahaney was one of eight analysts to downgrade the stock following its disastrous report. So his move is another sign that Wall Street is warming back up to LinkedIn. But the company will likely need a few more solid quarters before it can fully work its way out of the circular file.