EBAY was given a glowing report by Robertson Stephens Analyst.
eBay jumps 21 pct on analyst's comments
NEW YORK, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Shares of eBay Inc., the online auctioneer whose stock soared 163 percent on its first day of trading in September, rose sharply on Monday on an analyst's positive comments.
Lauren Cooks Levitan, of BancBoston Robertson Stevens, initiated coverage of eBay Monday with a buy rating, and a price target of $50 a share.
The stock in morning trading climbed 21 percent to 43-3/4, up 7-3/4.
The analyst said that the online auctioning market is poised to grow beyond expectations and that eBay has established itself as ``the online brand with authoritative selection and buyers and sellers.''
``... We would not be surprised if the real market opportunity (for online trade) in the U.S. were closer to $100 billion, rather than the estimated $43 billion spent in the U.S. on collectibles last year,'' she said in a research note.
She estimates eBay can grow from $5.7 million in fiscal 1997 revenues to $37.4 million in fiscal 1998, $72.0 million in fiscal 1999, $118.5 million in fiscal 2000 and $165.0 million in fiscal 2001.
Her admittedly conservative expectation calls on eBay to end fiscal 1998 at break-even earnings and grow to earnings per share of $0.05 in fiscal 1999, $0.35 in 2000 and $0.60 in 2001.
``We believe our estimates leave room for considerable upside,'' she added.
``Using these more aggressive assumptions, we estimate eBay's auction revenues in 2001 could actually reach more than $350 million versus our estimate of almost $145 million, leading to EPS closer to $1.50 than $0.60,'' she said.
On Sept. 24, shares of eBay, which facilitates the sale of everything from antiques to today's toys, gained $29.375 to $47.375 as excited investors scooped up the new issue.