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LinkedIn posts solid fourth quarter, but slowing growth forecast worrying

SAN FRANCISCO -- LinkedIn finished last year with a solid financial performance, but the online professional networking service rattled already jittery investors with a forecast indicating that its growth is slowing more than investors envisioned.

The projection released Thursday along with LinkedIn Corp.'s fourth-quarter results triggered a 7 percent drop in the company's stock price during extended trading.

LinkedIn also announced it is spending US$120 million to buy Bright, a startup that specializes in making data-analysis tools that can be used to connect job hunters with employers.

The late sell-off in LinkedIn's stock came a day after Twitter Inc., another Internet service that connects people with common interests, let down Wall Street with a jarring slowdown in its user growth.

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