eBay Gains as Analyst Repeats Buy Rating

eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) was trading at US$38.19, up 50 cents, Monday morning following a reported buy recommendation atDeutsche Banc Alex. Brown.

According to published reports, analyst Jaleel Patel reiterated the rating on eBay Mondaymorning, with an accompanying 12-month price target of $60 per share.

On Friday, eBay said it had settled a lawsuitwith Bidder’s Edge, a now-defunct search portal that allowed users to lookup auctions across 200 Web sites, including Yahoo! and Amazon.

eBay alleged that Bidder’s Edge trespassed on its sites and caused computerproblems. An eBay spokesman said Bidder’s Edge agreed to stop using itsautomated software to search eBay’s sites. According to eBay, Bidder’s Edge will pay the auction giant an undisclosed amount of money.

Bidder’s Edge, of Burlington, Massachusetts, recently clsoed its site, sayingit could not support its business model in the current market environment.The company is now seeking to license its technology.

Shares of eBay, one of the few companies in the e-commerce industry to posta profit, have dropped from a 52-week high of $127.50, set at the height ofdot-com mania last March. The stock’s 52-week low, $26.75, was reached inDecember.

In January, eBay said fourth-quarter resultswere stronger than expected and raised its outlook for the current year.eBay said it hosted 79.4 million auctions in the quarter ended December 31st,up 94 percent from a year earlier. A record 3.5 million users registered forthe eBay service during the quarter, bringing the total to 22.5 million.

eBay has continued to grow, expanding into Italy, France and Korea in recentmonths, in addition to boosting its U.S. business.

“We believe it is fair to say that our brand has begun to transcend theInternet,” eBay president and chief executive officer Meg Whitman said whenthe fourth-quarter results were released.

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