In a research report released today, Cantor analyst Youssef Squali maintained a Buy rating on LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) with a price target of $280, after the company announced the acquisition of, an online learning company that aims to help professionals further develop their skills. The deal will be financed by cash (52%) and stock (48%), and is expected to close in late Q2.

Squali noted, “We view LinkedIn’s agreement to acquire for $1.5B as another significant step toward building the world’s first economic graph. The deal would extend LinkedIn’s addressable market to the highly fragmented corporate employee education and professional certification market, a $30B opportunity.”

Furthermore, “We believe this deal makes a lot of sense for the leading professional network, since it would empower employees/ subscribers to develop or further refine their skills (instead of simply reporting them on a profile page) and would leverage LinkedIn’s large customer base/distribution platform.”

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Youssef Squali has a total average return of 25.9% and a 75.8% success rate. Squali has a 13.1% average return when recommending LNKD, and is ranked #4 out of 3571 analysts.