Amazon: Citi Downgrades on Valuation, Macro Concerns

Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney this morning cut his rating on Amazon.com (AMZN) to Hold from Buy on a combination of valuation and macroeconomic concerns.

Mahaney notes that AMZN shares have surged “as much as 36 percent” since it reported Q3 results, “primarily due to growth rates that are surprisingly strong in a severe recession, but also due in part to increased enthusiasm for its Kindle product.” But he notes that consumer spending data points from other e-commerce companies, like recent cautious comments form Expedia and Blue Nile, have become consistently negative.

Mahaney did not change estimates, but sees increasing risk to the Street consensus. For Q4, he sees EPS of 40 cents, below the Street at 44 cents. For 2009, he sees $1.50, below the Street at $1.59.

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