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Goldman Keeps Outperform on EBay

Goldman Sachs reiterated its outperform rating on eBay (EBAY).

EBay posted 24 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 57% revenue rise. Analyst Anthony Noto say the most notable parts of the fourth-quarter results are: the 335 basis-point operating margin expansion to 35.3%, the 41% incremental margins, and the 53% year-over-year gross merchandise sales growth to $7.1 billion.

He notes eBay continues to drive superior growth and profitability with improving returns due to its expansion into new geographic markets, product categories, and pricing formats within a high-margin business model. He upped 2004's $2.95 billion revenue estimate to $3.04 billion, and upped the $1.05 earnings per share estimate to $1.06. He also raised 2005's $3.8 billion revenue estimate to $4.07 billion and upped the $1.50 earnings per share estimate to $1.53.

Noto sees an aggressive potential scenario for 2005 earnings per share of $1.65. He upped the implied value range to $68 to $74.

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