Bernstein Downgrades Amazon, eBay on Macro Concerns

Bernstein Research analyst Jeffrey Lindsay this morning cut his ratings on both Amazon.com (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY) to Market Perform from Outperform, noting that the stocks have rallied off their November lows toward his target prices of $50 for Amazon and $16 for eBay. Given the current macro environment, he writes, there is little upside to current 2009 estimates, with increased risk of reduced guidance or under-performance.

For Amazon, he has three major concerns:

Reduced discretionary spending as unemployment and home foreclosures further erode U.S. consumer confidence. He notes that “the vast majority of goods sold by Amazon are discretionary purchases.” He says consumers have “pulled out all of the stops for the holiday season”–have they?–he expects “much more cautious and restrained spending as redundancies and home foreclosures continue as expected through 2009.”

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