Amazon Gains on Undercover Analyst Report

Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 21/16 to 23 7/16 Friday following reports that Credit Suisse First Bostonrepeated a buy recommendation on the stock.

The recommendation was given added weight by reports that CSFB analyst JamieKiggen himself had worked a few days as a seasonal helper at a companywarehouse to see how things were going, and came away confident in thecompany’s strategy.

“The general takeaway from our moonlighting is that Amazon is executing onits near-term and long-term financial and operating goals,” Kiggen wrotein a report to clients. “Customers are plentiful andactive, customer-service levels are high, and operations are becoming moreefficient.”

Kiggen reportedly expressed some concern about shipping costs, sayingcustomers appear to be taking advantage of the company’s offer of freeshipping for orders totaling more than US$100.

Amazon was the top e-tailer in November, according to a report issuedThursday by PC Data Online, which said that 3 million shoppers made purchasesfrom its site during the month. Second-ranked JCPenney.com, by contrast, had894,000 paying customers.

“Online shopping took off in November, with Amazon.com far and away the bigwinner,” said PC Data Internet analyst Cameron Meierhoefer. Toy sales, aidedby a hosting agreement with Toysrus.com, boosted results, Meierhoefer said.

Amazon reported athird-quarter operating loss of $68 million, or 25 cents per share, assales rose 79 percent from a year earlier. Chief executive officer JeffBezos has said the e-commerce industry has the potential to grow 50 percenta year over the next 10 years, with his company meeting or even exceedingthat growth rate.

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