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EBay Bid Lower Following Analyst Downgrade

Shares of the online marketplace eBay fall after the company receives a downgrade from Jefferies ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings.

Shares of veteran online marketplace eBay  (EBAY)  were bid lower on Thursday after the company received a downgrade from analysts at Jefferies.

EBay stock was down a little more than 1% at $35.23 in morning trading on Thursday after Jefferies analyst Brent Thill cut his recommendation to underperform from hold and lowered his one-year price target to $31 - roughly 13% below its current level.

The downgrade followed News Corp.'s  (NWSA)  announcement that former eBay executive David Doctorow will become CEO of Move, the operator of, on Feb. 3. Doctorow had served as head of global growth for eBay Marketplaces since 2016.

That follows eBay's announcement last September that President and CEO Devin Wenig was stepping down. Scott Schenkel, the company's senior vice president and chief financial officer, is currently interim CEO of eBay.

It also comes as activist investors including Elliott Management continue to push eBay to sell some divisions and streamline operations to save costs and boost revenue. 

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EBay in late November did agree to sell ticketing provider StubHub to Viagogo, the world's biggest secondary marketplace for tickets, for $4.05 billion cash.

Still, it has been a generally rough time for San Jose-based eBay, which has seen its stock continue to decline amid disappointing results as well as lower revenue guidance - and in turn reduced outlooks from several other analysts.

In October, eBay reported third-quarter earnings roughly half of what it posted in the same period a year earlier. At the time, it also said it expects fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of between 73 cents and 76 cents a share, and sales of between $2.77 billion and $2.82 billion – both lower than what analysts were expecting.

The company will report its fourth-quarter results on Jan. 21. Analysts polled by FactSet are currently expecting per-share earnings of 76 cents on sales of $2.8 billion.