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Beyond downgraded on Amazon squeeze, management exodus

Beyond.com Corp. (Nasdaq: BYND) tumbled 11 percent Thursday after the stock was downgraded by one analyst.

Shares fell 1 1/8 to 9 1/8, continuing their recent decline.

Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Lise Buyer downgraded Beyond.com Corp to "hold" from "buy," the brokerage firm said on Thursday. Amazon.com Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AMZN) recent announcement that it will enter the software market was the impetus for the downgrade.

The downgrade also cited a recent management turnover, and said Beyond.com's proposed transition to a business market from a predominately consumer market will take more than two quarters.

A recent spate of new hires and promotions announced in late October have made up for an exodus of some of Beyond's key staff. BuyDirect.com founders Bong Suh, former vice president of corporate development, and William Headapohl, former chief operating officer, both left to advise new Internet companies. Also, Beyond.com said it is working with executive search firms to find a new chief financial officer to replace former CFO Michael Praisner, who recently resigned to start a new business.

Beyond.com's competitors, such as Egghead.com (Nasdaq: EGGS), down 3/16 to 11 11/16 and Cyberian Outpost (Nasdaq: COOL) up 1/16 and 11 7/16 didn't seem to be suffering from the Amazon move, even though they don't have Beyond's strength in the government sector, or the enterprise sector.