EBay's Stock Gets a Boost From Analyst Upgrade

MarketWatch Pulse

EBay Inc.'s stock rose 1.1% in premarket trade Friday, after the online marketplace was upgraded at Susquehanna Financial, which cited increased confidence in the growth of its PayPal payments business and that margins will improve. Analyst James Friedman raised his rating to positive, after being at neutral for the past 14 months. He also boosted his stock price target to $75, which is 26% above Thursday's closing price, from $59. Friedman said conversations he's had with merchant acquirers suggest PayPal's penetration into the Internet-retailing market is likely to increase after it is spun off from EBay, which he expects by the end of the third quarter. Friedman also said regulatory changes by the European Union Payment Commission could help EBay's margins by lowering interchange fees. The stock has gained 5.9% so far this year through Thursday, compared with a 0.3% rise in the S&P 500.

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