Yahoo! (YHOO ) posted third-quarter earnings per share of 10 cents on 43% higher revenues. Deutsche Bank upgraded its rating on the shares to buy from hold.
Analyst Jeetil Patel says the upgrade is based on acceleration in branded advertising business, paid search expansion internationally and vertically in the U.S., and continued uptake in HotJobs and Fees operations. Patel says the company is not only enjoying 22% user growth but also 18% growth in revenues per user, a trend that should persist heading into 2004. The analyst expects revenue increases to come from the core Yahoo! business as well as contributions from the company's acquisition of Overture. Patel raised his 34-cent 2003 EPS estimate to 35 cents and his 46-cent projection for 2004 to $0.49. He also raised his $35 price target to $44.