Sanguine Meeting Boosts eBay as Net Sector Lags Behind

The DOT's down 1.2% as investors either don't know or don't show what's going down at i-Cube.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Net stocks continued to slump even as eBay's (EBAY) - Get Report woes were momentarily laid to rest by a chipper meeting with analysts.

eBay was up 2 5/8, or 3%, at 82 1/4 after executives met with analysts Monday. But

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down 5.76, or 1.2%, at 474.27 as the sector continued to feel interest-rate concerns and technical pressures.

eBay's meeting appeared to appease its audience, which included

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

Internet analyst Mary Meeker. The influential analyst minced no words when summing up the meeting in a research note today.

"Clearly, eBay continues to have technology problems," Meeker wrote. "However, the simple fact is that this company is going where no e-commerce company has gone before. And to be perfectly blunt, eBay has suffered from technology problems -- caused by high process complexity and high transaction volume -- that its competitors can only dream about."

Meeker reiterated her outperform rating on the stock, saying the core business "remains strong, and the company is demonstrating an ability to maintain a significant lead over its most direct competitors." Morgan Stanley has done underwriting for eBay.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

analysts also had kind words for the company, noting that they see several catalysts for the stock in the near future, including: a co-branded eBay-

America Online

(AOL)

site expected to be launched in September; international and regional expansion; online auto and premium auction service launches; and availability of a hot backup system. Deutsche Banc has done underwriting for eBay.

But not everyone was in a hurry to jump on the eBay bandwagon.

Thomas Weisel Partners

analyst Faye Landes wrote she was impressed by the presentation and progress of eBay's growth initiatives. But she noted that management indicated "it could take three to six months for the site to be fully stable and therefore we don't think that investors should rush in at these levels."

Elsewhere,

Razorfish

(RAZF)

, a Web design company, was off after it agreed to buy

i-Cube

(ICUB)

, a computer-system consultant, for $677 million in stock. Shareholders in i-Cube will receive 0.875 Razorfish share for each share they own. Razorfish was down 2 5/16, or 8%, at 25 15/16. i-Cube, also known as International Integration, was off 1/8 at 21 1/8.

A number of the initial public offerings that were delayed on Friday were set to go today.

US Interactive

(USIT:Nasdaq),

Interworld

(INTW:Nasdaq) and

HotJobs.com

(HOTJ:Nasdaq) all were priced on Monday. US Interactive, which provides Internet strategy consulting, marketing and technical services, was priced at $10. Interworld, an Internet commerce software company, was priced at $15. And HotJobs.com, an online job recruiter, was priced at $8.