Updated from 10:03 a.m. ET
was hit by a wave of analysts' downgrades today, a day after the online retailing giant announced growth in fourth-quarter sales that was shy of expectations.
Nevertheless, investors were bidding up the price of Amazon.com's stock. Its shares were recently climbing 88 cents, or 5.8%, to $15.94 in
downgraded Amazon to market performer from long-term attractive, while Goldman Sachs slashed its rating to market outperform from trading buy. Goldman also widened its 2001 loss projection to 60 cents from 41 cents.
Salomon Smith Barney
also downgraded the stock to outperform from buy.
Credit Suisse First Boston
cut its 12-month target price to $45 from $60 and reduced its 2001 revenue estimate to $3.7 billion from $4.1 billion.
analyst Jeffrey Fieler, who said the company's fourth-quarter results had a "mixed message," lowered his price target on Amazon to $30 from $55.
Other analysts came down much firmer on the optimistic side.
Henry Blodget from
maintained his long-term buy rating and estimates on Amazon, and said the company's fourth-quarter preliminary results showed a "solid" quarter that had "nothing to be alarmed by or thrilled about."
In his report, Blodget said that Amazon's fourth-quarter expectations "will help calm concerns that Amazon has a cash problem." Blodget, who said he finds Amazon's valuation "attractive," also said he believes the company's cash balance will bottom around $700 million in the first quarter "and increase from there."
analyst Kristine Koerber also maintained her buy rating on Amazon. Koerber said she believes the company is "making progress toward future profitability" and that Amazon "should be able to maintain at least a low double-digit growth rate longer term." Koerber kept her fourth-quarter revenue estimate of $985 million and fiscal 2000 revenue estimate of $2.8 billion.
said Monday its fourth-quarter revenue would exceed $960 million, compared with $676 million a year ago. Analysts on average polled by
First Call/Thomson Financial
expected fourth-quarter revenue of slightly more than $1 billion.