Markets & Finance

Kaufman Raises Ask Jeeves Target

Kaufman Brothers raised its target and reiterates buy on Ask Jeeves (ASKJ).

Analyst Richard Fetyko says he raised his $13 target to $18. He says assuming Ask Jeeves is able to further reduce costs in its customer-relationship management division, or sell it, his 40 cents 2004 earnings per share estimate could rise to 50 cents. He says without customer-relationship management, the remaining business (web properties) is expected to post a 35% compound annual growth rate over the next three years.

Fetyko believes the sale of customer-relationship management could fetch $12 million, or an additional 25 cents in liquidity. He says the plan for Google to replace eSpotting as a new paid listings partner for Ask Jeeves U.K. advertising services is likely to result in higher revenue share, and higher than expected 2004 growth. He sees 28 cents 2003 earnings per share.

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