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Goldman Cuts eBay Estimate by a Penny, but Likes S. Korea Move

Author:

Goldman Sachs

said it regards

eBay's

(EBAY) - Get eBay Inc. Report

$120 million stake in South Korea's

Internet Auction

as a favorable move that gives the online auctioneer access to the sixth largest Internet market in the world.

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Goldman analyst Anthony Noto, however, lowered his 2001 earnings-per-share estimate for the San Jose, Calif., company to 35 cents from 36 cents, reflecting lower interest income. The deal will reportedly add $20 million to eBay's revenue. Analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

are expecting 2001 earnings of 38 cents a share, and 2000 earnings of 21 cents a share. The company earned 7 cents a share in 1999.

eBay said yesterday it expects the deal to lower its 2001 earnings by about a penny a share on a pro forma basis. The forecast is adjusted for noncash items, including stock compensation and one-time charges. The company said actual earnings in 2001 will be lowered by about 2 cents a share, due to lower interest income. All figures exclude the amortization of goodwill, the company said.

Internet Auction, which was launched in 1998, has about 2.8 million registered users.

Shares of eBay lately slipped $1.56, or 5.1%, to $29 in trading on the

Nasdaq

. The shares are on Goldman's U.S. recommended for purchase list.