First Albany Upgrades EBay to 'Buy'

Analyst Youssef Squali says the online auction company showed outstanding first quarter results

First Albany upgraded EBay (EBAY ) to buy from neutral.

Analyst Youssef Squali says his upgrade was prompted by outstanding first quarter results. He notes eBay significantly beat every key metric. He says, despite its growing size, eBay shows no signs of a slowdown -- with growth in all key metrics continuing to accelerate.

Given the robust first quarter results, and the future outlook, Squali raised several estimates for 2003. He upped the revenue estimate to $2.15 billion, from $1.95 billion; raised the pro-forma earnings per share estimate to $1.56, from $1.40; and, hiked the GAAP earnings per share estimate to $1.42, from $1.21.

Squali notes eBay's guidance stands at $2.05 billion in revenues, $1.41 pro-forma earnings per share, and $1.27 GAAP earnings per share. He set a $104 price target.

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