UPDATE 1-RESEARCH ALERT-Citi raises Amazon to buy; shares rise

mercoledì 2 gennaio 2008 16:19

(Recasts, adds details, share movement)

Jan 2 (Reuters) - Citigroup raised its rating on Amazon.com (AMZN.O: Quotazione) to "buy" from "hold" and said the company has one of the best fundamental outlooks for 2008 among all U.S. internet stocks, sending shares up more than 5 percent.

The brokerage also raised its price target on the stock to $119 from $95.

Citigroup said it sees a 10 percent upside to Wall Street's 2008 earnings-per-share estimates, driven by stronger-than-expected revenue growth and margin expansion.

The online retailer's fourth-quarter results also could modestly top market expectations, it said.

Citigroup said the general consolidation in the share price since late July creates an entry opportunity in the stock, which it views as a "core" internet holding.

Amazon shares were trading up $4.07 at $96.71 in morning trade on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)