eBay Claws Way Out Of “Sell” Wasteland

    March 13, 2009

It may be time for investors to stop feverishly disposing of their eBay shares.  Financial firm Collins Stewart has given the online auction company a small nod of approval by upgrading it from "sell" to "hold." 


Are there any "Arrested Development" fans out there?  This change is reminiscent of the times Jim Cramer upgraded the fictional Bluth Company from "triple sell" to "don’t buy" to "risky"; since Collins Stewart’s Sandeep Aggarwal took a fair amount of time to focus on problems, the adjustment doesn’t translate to an incredibly strong endorsement.

Still, as reported by Henry Blodget, Aggarwal wrote, "[W]e are upgrading shares of eBay from a Sell to a Hold as the shares came within 3.0% of our $10 PT. . . .  [W]e believe that at the current level the downside risk is limited (trading at 6.5x our ’09 EPS)."

He later continued, "eBay remains one of the largest E-Commerce destinations with immense long-term potential.  We will be more constructive if we see signs of improvement in Marketplaces’ metrics, higher adoption of Bill Me Later without negative impact on PayPal take-rate, or if the shares dip below $10."

So perhaps investors should even get ready to start buying shares; eBay’s down 0.29 percent at the moment, which puts it at $10.45.


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