Deutsche Bank initiated coverage of Ask Jeeves (ASKJ) with buy.
Analyst Jeetil Patel says paid search/placement advertising, on which Ask Jeeves has focused its efforts and is now the hottest segment in the online advertising market, is taking share away from the $200 billion traditional direct marketing industry. He says paid search/placement billings hit $1 billion in 2002, and are expected to grow to almost $4 billion by 2005.
Patel thinks the company is well positioned in the search market, and is being vertically integrated. He says a three-year, $100 million listings deal with Google should translate into very high margin revenue opportunity. Patel sees 5 cents second-quarter earnings per share, and 25 cents for 2003, as well as 42 cents for 2004. He also set a $17 target.