Jun. 9, 2014, 4:54 AM
- Amazon (AMZN) will expand further into the online payments market today by launching its new role of managing subscription payments - starting with start-ups and other companies.
- The service will allow more than 240M users to use credit card details stored on Amazon.com to pay for services such as a monthly phone bill or a digital music subscription. Fees will be charged for each transaction.
- PayPal (EBAY) is set to feel incoming pressure, as Amazon encroaches on the sector it has long dominated.
Jun. 6, 2014, 12:12 PM
- eBay's (EBAY -2.1%) traffic growth declined meaningfully in late May following the rollout of Google search algorithm changes, writes Baird's Colin Sebastian.
- Sebastian also thinks eBay's security breach and pre-Memorial Day softness may have taken a toll.
- An initial analysis from SearchEngine Journal estimated eBay saw a 33% drop in Google search traffic following algorithm changes, and SEO firm Wordstream estimated eBay had "lost around 75%" of its keyword terms from Page 1 of Google's results.
- Like others, Sebastian expects eBay to adapt to Google's changes. He also sees the company buying more of Google's product listing ads (PLAs).
- Previous: Wells Fargo cuts eBay PT on security/search worries
May. 28, 2014, 5:01 PM
- "After closely following the Target security breach, we believe that eBay faces some near-term risk of customer churn," writes Wells Fargo, cutting its eBay (EBAY -2.7%) valuation range by $2 to $61-$63.
- The firm also notes the impact of Google's recent search algorithm changes; ChannelAdvisor estimates eBay's average search rank has dropped 3.88 spots. Its 2014 and 2015 EPS estimates have respectively been cut by $0.08 and $0.09 to $2.87 and $3.30.
- Cantor, on the other hand, is defending eBay: The firm thinks the Google issues will be addressed in time, and notes eBay only gets a small portion of its traffic from Google search.
May. 25, 2014, 6:42 AM
- eBay (EBAY) didn't believe for a "very long period of time" that customer data had been compromised following a major cyberattack, exec Devin Wenig has said.
- Wenig's comments follow criticism about the delay in informing users - the assault was discovered in early May but was only made public last week.
- eBay doesn't intend to compensate customers or provide free-credit monitoring, as the company hasn't detected any fraud, Wenig said. That's despite New York AG Eric Schneiderman calling for eBay to offer such services.
- Previous coverage
May. 23, 2014, 3:16 AM
- Attorneys general in Connecticut, Illinois and Florida are investigating eBay (EBAY) after the auction Web site disclosed this week that a database with encrypted passwords and personal information was breached in February and March.
- New York AG Eric Schneiderman hasn't announced a formal probe into eBay, although he wants the company to provide its customers with free credit-monitoring services, just as Target has done for NY victims of the major cyberattack that the retailer suffered late last year.
May. 22, 2014, 2:35 PM
- An analysis done by SearchEngine Journal estimates eBay.com (EBAY -1.1%) has seen a 33% drop in search traffic thanks to Google's (GOOG +1.3%) new Panda 4.0 algorithm update, and InterActiveCorp's (IACI -1.1%) Ask.com a 50% drop.
- Moreover, David Kim, the CEO of SEO firm Wordstream, has done an analysis that suggests eBay has "lost around 75%" of its keyword terms from Page 1 of Google's results, and 80% of its more specific (i.e. long-tail) keyword results.
- Kim blames the falloff on the fact eBay's search traffic tends to involve doorway pages with "very little content," rather than actual product pages. "I’m surprised that Google has allowed these shenanigans to go on for so long."
- He thinks Google's move has the effect of forcing eBay to buy Google's increasingly popular product listing ads (PLAs) to reach search users. eBay is already a PLA client, but (like Amazon) is less dependent on Google ads (and Google traffic in general) than many smaller e-commerce firms.
- The algorithm tweak follows changes to the display of Google's AdWords text search ads that lead them to blend in more with organic results, and thus potentially make them more likely to be clicked.
- eBay and IAC are underperforming amid Panda-related worries, but they're faring much better than RetailMeNot.
May. 21, 2014, 9:19 AM| 11 Comments
May. 15, 2014, 12:59 PM
- eBay (EBAY -1.2%) launches new localized Spanish and Portuguese versions of its website across South America and Central America in a bid to draw in more traffic.
- The company already has a thriving business on its English-language sites in the region, but sees the new sites as a way to engage consumers in the region on a more personalized manner.
May. 15, 2014, 4:53 AM
- Perry Capital has increased its holding in Herbalife (HLF) to 4.8M shares at the end of March from 3M in December, giving the New York hedge fund a 4.9% stake.
- The move comes despite Herbalife being under investigation in the U.S. over whether it's a pyramid scheme.
- Perry also raised its stake in eBay (EBAY) to almost 2M shares from 500,00, and it upped the amount of call options it holds in the auctions Web site.
Apr. 30, 2014, 2:32 PM
- MercadoLibre (MELI +4.2%) trades higher after being lined up as a potential eBay (EBAY -4.9%) acquisition.
- Yesterday, eBay tipped off its bringing a cool $9B back into the U.S. After paying some taxes, the company could make buy a company the size of MercadoLibre.
- eBay already has a 19.5% stake in MercadoLibre.
Apr. 29, 2014, 5:51 PM
- To obtain greater "financial flexibility," EBAY is repatriating $9B in foreign profits. The company will have $6B in available funds after accounting for taxes.
- Some of that "flexibility" could be used to pay for additional buybacks: eBay spent $1.8B to repurchase shares in Q1 after announcing a new $5B authorization at the time of its Q4 report.
- Separately, eBay disclosed on its CC it plans to lower StubHub's fees this year to keep rivals at bay. Though StubHub still has a dominant position in the secondary ticket sale market, a long list of rivals have been undercutting it on price.
- EBAY -4.1% AH. Q1 results, guidance/details.
Apr. 29, 2014, 4:36 PM
- Though EBAY beat Q1 estimates, it's guiding for Q2 revenue of $4.325B-$4.425B and EPS of $0.67-$0.69, largely below a consensus of $4.40B and $0.70. Full-year guidance (revenue of $18B-$18.5B and EPS of $2.95-$3.00) has been reiterated.
- PayPal division revenue rose 19% Y/Y (even with Q4) to $1.85B, payments volume grew 27% (better than Q4's 25%) to $52B. PayPal accounts rose by 5.8M Q/Q (up from Q4's 5.2M) to 148M.
- Marketplaces revenue grew 10% (down from Q4's 12%) $2.16B. GMV rose 12% (down from Q4's 13%) to $20.5B; U.S. GMV +11% (down from recent quarters), international +13%. Active buyers grew by 4.7M Q/Q to 147M. Marketplaces has been underperforming relative to Amazon and its 3rd-party sellers for some time.
- Three months after a $5B buyback was authorized, eBay says it spent $1.8B on buybacks in Q1 (Carl Icahn sends his regards). That led the company's cash balance to fall by $900M to $11.9B.
- eBay's mobile "enabled commerce volume" (ECV) rose 70% Y/Y to $11B, and made up 19% of total ECV. The company claims mobile downloads were responsible for attracting 6.5M new customers in the quarter. Cross-border trade made up 22% of ECV.
- Q1 results, PR
Apr. 29, 2014, 4:16 PM
Apr. 28, 2014, 5:35 PM
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Apr. 21, 2014, 4:03 PM
- Re/code reports Apple (AAPL +1.2%) "has been interviewing senior payments industry executives to push ahead on a plan to build an electronic payments business." E-commerce chief Jennifer Bailey is said to be leading the initiative. "Their ambitions are very, very serious," says one source.
- The WSJ reported in January Apple is "laying the groundwork" for a mobile payments push, albeit while leaving many questions unanswered regarding the kinds of transactions that will be covered, and which payments technologies will be used. Tim Cook later stated Apple is "intrigued" by the mobile payments space.
- Apple has ~600M iTunes accounts (most of which are linked to credit cards) to leverage for a payments initiative, as well as complementary technologies such as fingerprint sensors and the iBeacon positioning platform. Android support (something Apple is reportedly considering for iTunes) would do a lot to extend the service's reach in markets where Google's OS dominates.
- Re/code previously reported PayPal (EBAY -0.1%), whose services Apple could end up competing with, is pitching Apple on offering white-label solutions for its payments effort. But sources noted it's unlikely Apple would have any need for them.
Apr. 21, 2014, 10:28 AM
- Citi analysts post their list of 50 top Buy-rated stocks with a market cap of at least $3B, at least a top-three market share in a third of their businesses, and a global reach as measured by significant revenue outside of their home market; Business Insider highlights 20 according to estimated total return.
- Gilead Sciences (GILD) tops the list with a 45.4% ETR, and Citi believes GILD will generate a significant amount of cash and will buy back stock, engage in product and company acquisitions to grow its pipeline, and potentially start providing a dividend in 2-3 years.
- Rounding out the top 20: FB, BX, V, CERN, FLT, BA, MA, LVS, SBUX, MJN, GOOG, EBAY, BIIB, AXP, HOG, VFC, PII, VMC, FTI.
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