Nov. 20, 2013, 12:45 PM
- After launching four "shoppable windows" - giant touchscreens in high-traffic retail areas that can be used to buy various goods with the help of a smartphone - in NYC this spring, eBay (EBAY -2.8%) is planning a major expansion of the initiative.
- eBay has created screens measuring 10' by 10', and recently set up three units at a San Francisco Westfield mall that sell products from Sony, Rebecca Minkoff, and Toms. Westfield says it could install the screens at other malls (it has 100 globally).
- eBay, for its part, is looking to place the screens inside retail stores, and has filed patents related to the concept. It receives a cut on sales made through the screens, and also gets paid whenever a shopped clicks on a product.
- Other eBay offline efforts: same-day delivery, PayPal Beacon, retailer apps
Nov. 15, 2013, 2:20 PM
- Payments companies are ruining the online poker party in its infancy as major players such as PayPal (EBAY), American Express, and Bank of America have decided not to process transactions.
- Mastercard (MA +1.1%) and Visa (V +1.1%) are allowing the transaction in states where online gambling is legal, but card issuers have the final say.
- Related stocks: CZR, BYD, MGM, EIHDF, WYNN, IGT,
Nov. 14, 2013, 3:36 PM
- TechCrunch observes eBayHire (EBAY -0.3%), a local services marketplace that has been in testing in the U.K. the last few months, appears set to launch in the U.S. Angie's List (ANGI -5.1%), which sold off in July following a report about the U.K. test, is diving again.
- For the time being, only service providers are able to sign up. It looks as if eBay wants to do a gradual launch in an attempt to address the chicken-and-egg problem eBayHire is bound to initially face. Like Angie's List, eBay plans to let service providers establish profile pages were they can list services and provide rates, and also plans to sell ads that will appear alongside search results.
- As eBay itself can definitely vouch, unseating an incumbent online marketplace with a large installed base of buyers and sellers is no easy task. But even moderate success could be enough to exert price pressure on Angie's List. Angie's is only six weeks removed from doing a membership price cut test.
Nov. 11, 2013, 11:35 AM
- comScore estimates U.S. PC e-commerce sales rose 13% Y/Y in Q3 to $47.5B. That's down from Q2's 16% clip, and matches Q1 2013 for the slowest pace seen in the last two years.
- But the firm also believes U.S. mobile e-commerce sales rose 26% to $5.8B. That's a pickup from Q2's 24% clip, and gives mobile an 11% share of total U.S. e-commerce spend. comScore thinks mobile sales will be near $9B (+25% Y/Y) in seasonally strong Q4, and have "an outside shot of hitting $10 billion." 62% of Q3 mobile spending is believed to have come from smartphones, and 38% from tablets.
- Recent industry commentary has been mixed. eBay (EBAY -0.4%) provided light Q4 guidance while stating U.S. e-commerce growth was slowing, but the company partly backtracked on its comments. Groupon (GRPN -2.8%) partly blamed its Q3 revenue miss on seasonal weakness, but is optimistic about holiday season demand. Amazon (AMZN +0.7%), which has been gaining U.S. e-commerce share for some time (Q3 North American sales +31% Y/Y), has been fairly upbeat.
- Other firms with strong U.S. e-commerce exposure: OSTK, ECOM, SALE, NILE, FUEL.
Nov. 6, 2013, 10:21 AM
Oct. 25, 2013, 11:33 AM
- Raymond James has upped Amazon (AMZN +8%) to Strong Buy following its Q3 revenue beat, while setting a PT of $446. It's far from alone in raising its PT; RBC has set an upside scenario target of $500, while declaring the quarter "something of an inflection point."
- Jefferies observes Amazon's op. income has topped the high end of guidance for 8 straight quarters. Evercore likes the fact Amazon's North American 33% electronics & general merchandise (EGM) sales growth (~2x U.S. e-commerce growth) beat the firm's 27% estimate.
- Accelerating growth - Q3 rev. growth of 24% topped Q2's 22% - and ongoing gross margin improvement - Q3 GM rose 240 bps Y/Y to 27.7% - are getting attention. Global media revenue ($5.03B) +9% Y/Y in Q3 vs. +7% in Q2, EGM ($11.05B) +29% vs. +28%.
- Amazon's total Q3 paid unit growth was 29%, even with Q2, and 3rd-party sellers still made up 40% of unit sales. Active accounts +9M Q/Q to 224M after rising by 6M in Q2. Also, North American "Other" sales (dominated by AWS) rose 56% Y/Y to $1.01B.
- At the same time, Amazon's aggressive spending isn't letting up. Fulfillment spend rose to 11.5% of revenue from 10.5% a year ago, and tech/content spend to 9.2% from 7.8%. TTM capex +$320M Q/Q to $4.59B.
- Interestingly, eBay (EBAY -1.6%) is lower even as Amazon soars. When contrasted with Amazon's figures, eBay's Q3 Marketplaces numbers and Q4 guidance point to further share losses on a relative basis.
- Q3 results, details/guidance, CC transcript
Oct. 23, 2013, 9:30 AM
- FedEx (FDX) expects Cyber Monday shipments to increase 11% Y/Y as online orders boost shipments to over 22M for the day. The news helps temper some of the worries on e-commerce coming out of eBay (EBAY).
- The double-digit pace of online orders easily beats estimates for Black Friday store sales and sets up well for Amazon (AMZN).
- Other retailers with strong online businesses could pick up sales if online continues to grab steal market share away from mall traffic.
- On watch: Urban Outfitters (URBN), Zale (ZLC), Under Armour (UA), Vera Bradley (VRA), and Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS).
Oct. 22, 2013, 11:56 AM
- eBay (EBAY +0.1%) has acquired Shutl, a U.K.-based provider of online same-day delivery services that uses a network of carriers to fulfill orders. Terms are undisclosed. (PR)
- Shutl's "technology, talent, and expertise" will be used to help eBay bring its Now same-day service to 25 markets by the end of 2014, including London (already announced) and other international markets.
- eBay, which has relied on local retail partners rather than couriers for fulfillment, has already done same-day launches in NYC and SF, and is now launching in Chicago. The company is also offering a local pickup service called Click & Collect (it first launched in the U.K.)
- Separately, eBay has overhauled its Marketplaces site and apps to improve item discovery (long a user complaint) and include social media-like tools. Users will be able to create Pinterest-like "collections" of items for sale, and the collections of 200 "curators" will be highlighted. eBay is also giving users the ability to create public profiles, and to follow other members.
- The changes come after eBay provided soft Q4 guidance that was blamed on macro, but fueled concerns Marketplaces is again losing share following a recent growth pickup.
Oct. 21, 2013, 2:25 PM
Oct. 20, 2013, 2:30 AM
- Illinois' Supreme Court has invalidated a state law that taxes certain Internet transactions, explaining that it was superseded by a federal law that bans charging levies on "electronic commerce."
- The ruling by a vote of 6-1 marks the first time that a state court has quashed an online sales tax law.
- Illinois' Department of Revenue is now thinking about taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- The companies who could be directly or indirectly affected by the decision in Illinois include Amazon (AMZN), eBay (EBAY), Overstock (OSTK), Blue Nile (NILE), ChannelAdvisor (ECOM) and RetailMeNot (SALE).
Oct. 18, 2013, 2:37 PM
- After trading lower for most of the day, eBay (EBAY +1.7%) has spiked higher in response to an AllThingsD column indicating CEO John Donahoe backtracked a bit on his downbeat CC remarks about Q4 U.S. e-commerce trends (cited as a culprit for the company's below-consensus Q4 guidance) during a Wednesday evening interview.
- Donahoe: "The truth is [CFO Bob Swan] and I both have colds ... I think [our remarks] came across more negative than intended." Nonetheless, Donahoe did recap a list of reasons why eBay is cautious about Q4 U.S. sales, including comScore data, the government shutdown, and a shorter holiday season thanks to a late Thanksgiving.
- Many Internet peers are posting big gains today thanks to Google's Q3 beat.
Oct. 17, 2013, 1:26 PM
- Several analysts have lowered their eBay (EBAY -3.8%) PTs after the company delivered mixed Q3 results and light Q4 guidance, while blaming the latter on slowing U.S. e-commerce growth. But no downgrades have arrived.
- Deutsche, which has lowered its PT to $56 from $59, thinks eBay's Marketplaces unit is "losing modest market share to others, including [Google Shopping] and Amazon." Needham and Macquarie are also worried about Marketplaces' growth, which has improved in recent years thanks to site improvements, strong mobile activity, and growing fixed-price listings.
- On the CC, CEO John Donahoe admitted users joining eBay via mobile are generating less revenue on average, in part due to demographics (they tend to be younger, and are more likely to be in emerging markets). But he added their engagement rates are higher.
- Meanwhile, eBay says it has hired RJ Pittman, formerly in charge of design/product management for Apple's e-commerce ops, to the newly-created position of chief product officer for Marketplaces. The hiring comes as eBay ramps its R&D spend (+11% Y/Y in Q3 to $433M) and expands Marketplaces' reach to include same-day delivery and local pickup.
Oct. 17, 2013, 9:12 AM
Oct. 16, 2013, 6:44 PM
- Though EBAY saw stabilizing macro conditions in Europe and Asia-Pac during Q3, the U.S. e-commerce market "softened considerably" and hasn't rebounded yet in Q4, the company stated on its Q3 CC. The U.S. weakness, together with ramping investments, are blamed for eBay's below-consensus Q4 guidance.
- A positive tone was generally struck regarding PayPal, whose merchant services transaction growth hit a 6-quarter high in Q3. Bill Me Later also fared well: transaction volume +30% to $1.01B, portfolio balance +37% to $2.56B. But there might be some concern about PayPal's take rate, which fell 9 bps Q/Q and 19 bps Y/Y to 3.94%.
- 71% of Marketplaces transactions now involve fixed-price items, and 36% of new Q3 users came via mobile. Vehicles GMV (excluded from broader GMV metrics) fell 11% Y/Y, even with Q2.
- The Enterprise division (formerly GSI) saw 5% Y/Y rev. growth to $238M; client same-store sales rose 13%.
- EBAY -5% AH. AMZN -1.1%. Amazon obtained 60% of its Q2 sales from North America. Other firms with strong U.S. e-commerce exposure: OSTK, NILE, ECOM.
- Q3 results, guidance/details, slides
Oct. 16, 2013, 4:42 PM
- EBAY expects Q4 revenue of $4.5B-$4.6B and EPS of $0.79-$0.81, below a consensus of $4.64B and $0.83. In a quote talking up eBay's Q3 numbers, CEO John Donahoe calls the macro environment "fairly lackluster." Back in July, European and Korean macro issues were blamed for eBay's below-consensus Q3 guidance.
- Payments division (PayPal) growth remained strong in Q3: sales +19% Y/Y (to $1.62B) vs. +20% in Q2. Payment volume +25% (to $43.8B) vs. +24%, active accounts rose by 5M Q/Q to 137M (+17% Y/Y). Merchant services (non-eBay) transaction volume +30% Y/Y.
- Marketplaces revenue +12% Y/Y (to $2.03B) vs. +10% in Q2; mobile provided a lift. GMV (exc. vehicles) +13%, even with Q2. U.S. GMV +15% vs. +16%, international +12% vs. +11%. Total listings topped 500M. Active users rose by 3.9M vs. 3.5M in Q2, +14% Y/Y and reaching 124M.
- EBAY -4.2% AH. AMZN -1.2% in sympathy. CC at 5PM ET.
- Q3 results, PR
Oct. 16, 2013, 4:17 PM
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