Markets & Finance

Piper Jaffray Upgrades (AMZN) reported 12 cents second-quarter earnings per share, and sees $8.275 billion to $8.675 billion 2005 sales. Piper Jaffray upgraded the stock.

Analyst Safa Rashtchy upgrades Amazon to market perform from underperform. He says the online retailer's reported $1.75 billion second-quarter revenues beat his $1.72 billion estimate, and the reported 12 cents GAAP EPS beat his 5 cents estimate.

He raised 2005 estimates to 70 cents EPS on $8.6 billion in revenues from 42 cents EPS on $8.4 billion in revenues, 2006 estimates to 95 cents EPS on $10.2 billion in revenues from 59 cents EPS on $9.8 billion in revenues.

Rashtchy says his new estimates reflect gross margin improvements driven by high margin credit card activation revenues and third party sales. He believes the improvement in the company's margin structure warrants a higher multiple. As such, he upgrades and raises $30 price target to $44.

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