How Will eBay (EBAY) Stock React to This Analyst Downgrade Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The global technology giant eBay Inc (EBAY) was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at Canaccord this morning amid the company's announcement to separate its eBay e-commerce business and its PayPal mobile payment business into two publicly traded companies by 2015.

Activist shareholder Carl Icahn had been pressuring the company for the split in the past nine months.

Shares of eBay were surging 6.84% to $56.26 in early market trading.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates EBAY INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate EBAY INC (EBAY) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • EBAY INC has improved earnings per share by 8.2% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, EBAY INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.18 versus $1.99 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.97 versus $2.18).
  • The revenue growth significantly trails the industry average of 43.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Although EBAY's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.20, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,494.00 million or 47.77% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, EBAY INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 41.40%.
  • The gross profit margin for EBAY INC is currently very high, coming in at 74.99%. Regardless of EBAY's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 15.48% trails the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: EBAY Ratings Report

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