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EBay declines as company gives weak 4Q outlook

NEW YORK (AP) -- EBay's stock slipped Thursday after its third-quarter revenue missed analysts' estimates, it provided a weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter forecast and said its full-year results will come in at the low end of its forecast range.

THE SPARK: Late Wednesday, the online auctioneer, marketplace host and payments processor reported third-quarter revenue of $3.89 billion. That fell short of the $3.91 billion that analysts polled by FactSet predicted.

Looking to the fourth quarter, eBay Inc. anticipates adjusted earnings of 79 cents to 81 cents per share, below the 83 cents analysts were looking for. The San Jose, Calif., company expects revenue of $4.5 billion to $4.6 billion. Wall Street was forecasting $4.64 billion in revenue.

EBay also said that it now foresees its full-year earnings and revenue coming in at the low end of its prior forecasts. The company previously predicted adjusted earnings of $2.70 to $2.75 per share and revenue of $16 billion to $16.5 billion for the full year. Analysts expect full-year earnings of $2.71 per share on revenue of $16.18 billion.

THE ANALYSIS: Canaccord Genuity's Michael Graham said in a client note that the fourth-quarter outlook is being impacted by expectations for a sluggish holiday season for the U.S. online business in addition to increased spending on some key initiatives.

He reduced eBay's price target to $60 from $64 and reiterated a "Buy" rating.

John Blackledge of Cowen and Co. said that eBay's third quarter was solid, but that its fourth-quarter guidance was weaker than he expected. The analyst lowered his fourth-quarter earnings estimate to 80 cents from 82 cents per share and reduced his revenue forecast to $4.57 billion from $4.6 billion.

Blackledge reaffirmed a "Market Perform" rating.

SHARE ACTION: Down $2.09, or 4 percent, to $51.43 in afternoon trading. The stock is up less than 1 percent for the year to date.