eBay Gains, Then Falls, as Goldman Repeats Rating

eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) erased an early gain totrade down 88 U.S. cents at $33.75 by midmorning Friday, after Goldman Sachsanalyst Anthony Noto confirmed the stock’s position on his firm’sRecommended List.

The stock rose as high as $35.25 in early trading.

“We believe eBay is likely to exceed our first-quarter 2001 total revenueestimate of $150 million, at $160 million, and our earnings per shareestimate of 8 cents,” Noto wrote in a research note.

EBay’s auctions generally close in 5.8 days, compared with 6 days in thefourth quarter, and the company is getting more revenue from each auction,Noto wrote. The average selling price of an item on eBay is also going up,rising to almost $45 this quarter from $41 last quarter as new categorieslike consumer electronics gain in popularity, he wrote.

“We continue to believe eBay is a core Internet holding,” wrote Noto. “Whilewe recognize that the stock remains expensive, we are hard-pressed to findother technology stocks that have accelerating fundamentals, strong top- andbottom-line visibility, a clear leadership position, and global expansionpotential requiring little capital in the deteriorating economicenvironment.”

Noto acknowledged that eBay shares could fall further as the company entersthe traditionally slow summer selling season. However, he said, “we would bebuyers of the stock ahead of a visibly strong quarter.”

eBay recently announced an

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