Shares of eBay Inc. were falling 2.5% in Tuesday morning trading after UBS analyst Kunal Madhukar downgraded the stock to neutral from buy, writing of growth concerns regarding the online marketplace. “Expectations are low, with non-Focus categories declining and with Focus categories, which are doing better, comprising purely discretionary spend which could be disproportionately impacted in a downturn,” Madhukar wrote in a note to clients. The downgrade comes amid a UBS analysis of how the e-commerce sector could fare in a downturn, with Madhukar highlighting the rising possibility of a recession. He sees “greater macro sensitivity” for the e-commerce space in a modern recession, whereas e-commerce was still a small portion of overall retail sales during the financial crisis. Additionally, he worries that when the market recovers, eBay “could lag smaller-cap peers (which are likely to grow much faster in a recovery) until investors have better visibility into organic growth at eBay.” Shares of eBay have declined 35% so far this year as the S&P 500 has dropped 19%.
Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.