Sep. 2, 2014, 2:26 PM
- Following reports Apple (AAPL +0.8%) is working on a mobile payments platform leveraging NFC radios, Touch ID fingerprint sensors, and 800M+ iTunes accounts, Stifel thinks Apple may have finally "cracked the code" for getting consumers to make offline payments with their phones rather than credit/debit cards.
- Stifel: "With NFC and iBeacon to follow, we expect Apple’s payments product to be more focused on physical, brick-and-mortar retail than online ... We think Apple correctly sees a much bigger opportunity offline where consumer adoption is still negligible."
- RBC sees a chance to create a loyalty points system for Apple products/services. Forbes' Mark Rogowsky thinks tech advances, Apple's scale, and the pending U.S. adoption of chip-and-PIN readers (will increase NFC reader support and make card payments slightly less convenient) amount to "a perfect storm" that can allow Apple's platform to succeed in spite of the failures of existing NFC solutions (Isis, Google Wallet, etc.).
- PayPal owner eBay (EBAY -0.9%) is off moderately. PayPal has made a number of moves to expand into offline payments, but uptake has been limited. It handled $27B in mobile transactions last year, largely for online payments. Unlike Apple's solution (from all indications), PayPal's mobile payments offerings support both Android and iOS.
- Reported Apple NFC chip supplier NXP (NXPI +0.7%) is adding to its recent gains.
Aug. 21, 2014, 12:53 PM
- eBay (EBAY +3.6%) tells Reuters its stance on spinning off PayPal hasn't changed. However, the company adds its board "will continue to assess all alternatives" for creating long-term value.
- Shares have pared their morning gains on the remarks, but remain up strongly.
- Earlier: eBay reportedly thinking of spinning off PayPal
Aug. 21, 2014, 11:43 AM
- Hedge funds are having a difficult time of it again this year, up 1% vs. a 7.5% gain for the S&P 500, according to Goldman Sachs, which crunched the numbers on 775 funds with $1.9T in AUM.
- Nevertheless, Goldman's list of 50 stocks which "matter most" to hedge funds has outperformed the S&P 500 on a quarterly basis 66% of the time since 2001. The stocks this quarter (posted in order of the number of funds in which a name is a top-10 holding):
- ACT, AAPL, FB, AGN, AAL, GM, TWC, AIG, MSFT, HTZ, CHTR, MU, WMB, LNG, C, DAL, HCA, APC, CBS, ALLY, GOOGL, APD, NRF, BAC, EBAY, LBTYK, PCLN, VRX, BIDU, DTV, DISH, DG, EQIX, MA, WAG, ARCP, GILD, LINTA, MON, FOXA, VC, AMZN, BRK.A, BRK.B, SUNE, CMCSA, JPM, MIC, CCI, HES, LAMR.
- A special call-out to Northstar Realty (NYSE:NRF), Visteon (NYSE:VC), SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE), Macquarie Infrastructure (NYSE:MIC), and Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR) for making the list of hedge fund hotels despite their relatively tiny market caps.
Aug. 21, 2014, 10:23 AM
- Though it has rejected Carl Icahn's call for a PayPal spinoff, eBay (EBAY +3%) has been "telling potential recruits for the position of PayPal CEO that it’s considering spinning off the payments business as soon as next year," The Information reports.
- eBay and Icahn engaged in a war of words earlier this year, with the former insisting it needed to hold onto PayPal due to various synergies with Marketplaces, and the latter arguing eBay's board was compromised by conflicts of interest.
- eBay has spiked in response to the report. PayPal, which saw respected division chief David Marcus leave in June for Facebook, almost certainly accounts for over half the company's $68B market cap.
Aug. 19, 2014, 2:09 PM
- With the help of its Braintree unit's Venmo Touch service, PayPal (EBAY +1.1%) has launched One Touch, a mobile payments platform that lets users quickly pay across multiple apps after logging in once. Braintree's recently-launched v.zero SDK has been updated to include One Touch support.
- Though Venmo Touch has seen a measure of success, PayPal's huge reach - it had 152M active accounts at the end of Q2, and is supported by scores of high-profile online merchants - should allow for much wider uptake.
- PayPal has made a long list of moves (I, II) to grow both its mobile e-commerce and offline payments share. The payments giant handled $27B worth of mobile transactions in 2013.
Aug. 15, 2014, 3:23 AM
- eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), which has been contemplating bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) transactions since last year, may now start to accept the virtual currency at its Braintree payments subsidiary, part of its PayPal unit.
- Braintree processes more than $12B in annual payments, including many online and mobile companies like Uber and Airbnb.
- eBay and PayPal wouldn't initially accept bitcoin, but that could change over time.
Aug. 13, 2014, 10:37 AM
- ChannelAdvisor (ECOM +0.4%) clients saw a hefty 40.4% Y/Y increase in their July Amazon (AMZN +3.1%) same-store sales. That's up from June's 34.4%, and is easily the highest rate seen in the last 12 months. 38.2% of tracked Amazon GMV was fulfilled by Amazon, up from 29.8% a year ago.
- On the other hand, eBay's (EBAY -1.1%) same-store growth fell to 9.7% from June's 12.3% Auctions -8.2%, fixed-price +12.8%, Motors +8%. ChannelAdvisor sees the numbers as a sign eBay "continues to face headwinds" from Google algorithm changes and a May data breach.
- Search ad-driven same-store sales, which are dominated by Google (GOOG +1.3%) AdWords, fell to 7% from June's 20.4%. While average order value (AOV) grew 6% and conversion rates 8%, mobile growth led ad prices (cost per click) to fall 7%.
- Google Shopping/product listing ads (previous) continue to perform well: They saw 40.8% same-store growth, down a bit from June's 47.8%. Conversion rates fell 9.5%, but AOV grew 8.9% ChannelAdvisor thinks mobile is hurting conversion rates, and that Google is "counteracting that by showing higher-priced items."
- Amazon also rallied following ChannelAdvisor's June numbers. Shares tumbled a couple weeks later due to the bottom-line concerns caused by Amazon's Q2 report.
Jul. 31, 2014, 2:31 AM
- PayPal (NASDAQ:EBAY) now plans on bringing its small-business and consumer lending programs outside the U.S.
- PayPal Credit will soon be available in the U.K. and Germany, while PayPal Working Capital, its small-business credit arm, will expand to the U.K. and Australia.
- The online payment company challenges traditional lending, and offers unique products which use alternative methods for approving loans, such as "sales history" with eBay or PayPal. The company also does not charge interest on the loans, but rather charges a flat upfront fee and deducts a percentage of each sale to repay the loan.
Jul. 24, 2014, 3:07 AM
- EBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) is offering a new $3.5B bond sale to fund general operating activities as well as pay down outstanding short-term loans.
- The bond sale comes in the the middle of eBay's consideration of whether to transfer $9B held in cash overseas to the U.S.
- The company took a charge of nearly $3B this past April in anticipation of repatriating the funds to be used for acquisitions or other operating activities.
Jul. 23, 2014, 3:40 AM
- PayPal (NASDAQ:EBAY) has signed up tens of thousands of Nigerian customers after opening its online platform in the country last week.
- In a market often plagued by financial fraud, PayPal is offering online payment alternatives to Nigeria - Africa's largest economy.
- The company announced last month that in intends to enter ten new nations, bringing the total number of countries serviced to 203.
Jul. 16, 2014, 4:45 PM
- EBAY expects Q3 revenue of $4.3B-$4.4B and EPS of $0.65-$0.67, below a consensus of $4.42B and $0.70. It expects 2014 revenue of $18B-$18.3B and EPS of $2.95-$3.00, in-line with a consensus of $18.2B and $2.98.
- $1.7B was spent on buybacks in Q2, nearly even with Q1's $1.8B and allowing EPS to beat estimates in spite of a revenue miss.
- PayPal division revenue +20% Y/Y in Q2 (to $1.74B) vs. +19% in Q1. Total payment volume growth improved to 29% from 27% - eBay payments +13%, non-eBay +35%.
- PayPal active accounts rose by 4M Q/Q to 152M, and a deal was signed with GE to offer a dual-branded credit card. The related loan portfolio will be bought in 2016 for an estimated ~$1B.
- Marketplaces revenue +9% (to $2.17B) vs. +10% in Q1. In spite of Google's algorithm changes and the security breach, GMV growth was steady at 12%. Active buyers rose by 3.8M Q/Q to 149M. Enterprise revenue +3% to $267M.
- eBay's total enabled commerce volume rose 26% to $62B. Mobile made up 20% of the total, with mobile downloads producing 6.6M new customers.
- Opex +14% Y/Y to $2.18B. Cash/investments total $12.4B, and debt $5.3B.
- Q1 results, PR
Jul. 16, 2014, 4:16 PM
Jul. 15, 2014, 5:35 PM
Jul. 15, 2014, 2:37 PM
- Gautam Thaker, the head of eBay's (EBAY -0.5%) advertising and Shopping.com (comparison shopping engine, revamped last year) units, is leaving the company to become the CEO of daily deals vendor LivingSocial.
- The announcement comes a day after news arrived that another exec, Ken Moss, is leaving to become Electronic Arts' CTO. Moss was the head of eBay's Seattle office, in charge of its Marketplace Technology, Science and Data organization.
- PayPal president David Marcus left in June to become Facebook's messaging product chief. Q2 results arrive tomorrow.
Jul. 14, 2014, 12:47 PM
- Citing Google's algorithm changes and May's security breach, Pac Crest's Chad Bartley has downgraded eBay (EBAY -0.5%) to Sector Perform ahead of Wednesday's Q2 report.
- Bartley notes talks with eBay sellers found a majority "reported seeing an incremental slowdown in growth in late-May and June," and that a Q2 Pac Crest survey found "only 50% of eBay users changed their password after the breach, which tells us there could be a lingering effect beyond Q2."
- Plenty of others on the Street have already voiced concerns over the same issues, which have led eBay to underperform the Nasdaq since mid-May.
- eBay jumped on Friday after ChannelAdvisor reported a pickup in client eBay same-store growth in June relative to May. But growth (12.3% Y/Y) was only a fraction of the rate reported for Amazon client same-store sales (34.4%).
Jul. 14, 2014, 9:55 AM| 2 Comments
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