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EBay shares fall as analysts cut price targets

An Ebay logo is displayed on a monitor in this photo illustration in Encinitas, California, April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - EBay Inc shares fell as much as 6 percent on Thursday after the e-commerce company forecast a lackluster holiday quarter, prompting at least nine brokerages to cut share-price targets.

Analysts cut their price targets by between $2 and $6, to as low as $56. EBay shares were trading at $51.54 at midday.

EBay said on Wednesday that the U.S. economic environment and consumer confidence had deteriorated, in part because of the shutdown of the U.S. government.

However, several analysts said they were awaiting results from Google Inc later on Thursday and Amazon.com Inc next week to get a better picture of the e-commerce market.

EBay said it expects a profit of 79-81 cents per share for the holiday quarter, short of the 83 cents per share expected by analysts on average.

Macquarie Equities Research analyst Ben Schachter said he expected eBay to face increasing competition from Google, Wal-Mart Stores Inc and China's Alibaba.

(Reporting by Chandni Doulatramani in Bangalore)