Jefferies Upgrades Ask Jeeves to Buy

Analyst Youssef Squali says the search-engine provider is attractive at present levels

Jefferies upgraded Ask Jeeves (ASKJ ) to buy from hold.

Analyst Youssef Squali upgraded and reiterated his $39 target based on discounted cash flow and relative valuation methodologies. He believes that a 22% price pullback in the last 30 days, combined with an expected strong second-quarter showing, makes Ask Jeeves attractive at present levels.

Also, Squali thinks a chance for an extension of the Google agreement prior to its IPO is high, as the value of network is of growing importance to Google. He notes Ask Jeeves improved its leverage for extension of agreement with the ISH acquisition. He sees $1.03 2004 EPS, and $1.42 in 2005.

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