Apr. 28, 2014, 5:35 PM
- ACE, ACHC, ACMP, AEC, AEGN, AFL, ANIK, ARI, AUY, AXS, AZPN, BGFV, BOOM, BXP, CALX, CAP, CEB, CEMP, CHE, CHRW, CLD, CMRE, CNQR, COLM, CRAY, DLB, DNB, DWA, EBAY, EEFT, EIX, EPR, ESRX, EZPW, FARO, FEIC, FISV, GMED, GNW, GPRE, HURN, IPHI, LOGM, MAC, MAR, MEOH, MWA, NANO, NATI, NCR, NDLS, NFX, NUVA, OHI, OI, PNRA, PRXL, REXX, RFMD, RNG, RNR, RPXC, RVBD, SIMG, SKT, SLCA, SM, STR, STX, SWI, TE, THG, TMH, TRLA, TRN, TTS, TWTR, ULTI, USNA, VNR, VPRT, VRSK, WSH, X, XCO.
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.
Apr. 14, 2014, 5:40 PM
- "Obviously it gets a lot of press and we have considered it ... but we’re not hearing from customers that it’s right for them and don’t have any plans within Amazon (AMZN +1.3%) to engage Bitcoin (BITCN, BTCS)," says Amazon payments chief Tom Taylor.
- Nonetheless, Taylor says payments is something Jeff Bezos now considers a priority. “The pressure I feel from Jeff is, ‘Go faster.’”
- In an attempt to challenge PayPal's (EBAY +1%) online/mobile payments dominance, Amazon launched a payments solution for unaffiliated merchants last October. It's also reportedly working on a Kindle-based retail checkout system - Taylor wouldn't confirm or deny the project - and a PayPal-like P2P payments system.
- Taylor even suggests Amazon is open to providing a payment-processing network that would compete against Visa and MasterCard. But he adds Amazon's offering "would really have to be something much better" than alternatives to launch.
- In the near-term, Amazon wants to use mobile devices to eliminate "pain points" in offline payments - examples include using a phone to quickly pay for parking or a restaurant meal. PayPal has similar ideas.
- A lingering issue for Amazon: Some retailers are uneasy about providing sales data to a major rival. For his part, Taylor insists "people we think of as competitors don’t have a payments problem."
Apr. 10, 2014, 8:24 AM
- eBay (EBAY) has reached an agreement with investor Carl Icahn to settle a proxy fight, according to a company statement.
- Icahn has dropped his battle for two nominees after eBay added David Dorman to the board. The move will take the board to ten members.
- EBAY -2.1% premarket as investors digest the loss of momentum for a PayPal split.
Apr. 10, 2014, 8:22 AM
Apr. 9, 2014, 5:18 AM
- Yahoo (YHOO), Amazon (AMZN) and other major tech companies have been working to overcome a major security flaw in certain versions of the OpenSSL encryption tool that is used by up to two thirds of Web sites.
- The bug, called Heartbleed, has been around for two years and allows thieves to steal private user information unnoticed, including passwords and banking information. News of the problem emerged on Monday.
- A patch has been created to eliminate the flaw, although security experts are skeptical about its effectiveness.
- Google (GOOG), which helped discover the hole, and PayPal (EBAY) are among the companies that have also been working to deal with the problem on their respective sites.
- A test created by cybersecurity company Qualys (QLYS) shows if a site appears to be safe.
Apr. 8, 2014, 11:34 AM
- Aided by better weather, ChannelAdvisor (ECOM +4.2%) clients saw a 26.2% Y/Y increase in their Amazon (AMZN +3%) same-store sales in March, up from 23% in February and 14% in January.
- eBay (EBAY +3.1%) same-store sales rose 17.8% in March vs. 15% in February and 12.7% in January. Fixed-price sales +21.5%, auctions -10%, Motors +19.7%.
- Search ad-driven same-store sales, dominated by traffic from Google's (GOOG +3%) AdWords, rose 11.2% vs. 4.3% in February and 10.3% in January. Clicks were flat due to a shift towards Google's Product Listing Ads (PLAs). Ad prices fell 7% (soft smartphone ad prices are a likely factor), click rates rose 2%, and average order value rose 5%.
- PLA-driven same-store sales rose 34.5%. Though that's down from February's 48% and January's 62.8%, ChannelAdvisor chalks it up to "a normal aging of the program," given PLAs only launched in late 2012.
- Amazon, eBay, and Google are all posting solid gains amid a broader rebound in Internet stocks.
Mar. 19, 2014, 1:36 PM
- In a twist on his ongoing calls for eBay (EBAY +0.2%) to spin off PayPal, Carl Icahn argues the company would benefit from selling a 20% stake in the online payments giant through an IPO - a move similar to the one EMC carried out with VMware in 2007.
- Icahn sees an IPO not only unlocking value due to the lofty valuation the Street might assign to PayPal, but also by giving PayPal's management more independence (previous) and creating "a valuable currency" that could be used for M&A and attracting talent.
- The activist investor also notes a 20% IPO would allow eBay to maintain the synergies between PayPal and Marketplaces CEO John Donahoe has argued justify keeping the businesses under one roof, and thinks it would eliminate "dissynergies" he believes have prevented PayPal from pursuing strategic partnerships with financial and Internet giants.
- More on Icahn/eBay
Mar. 13, 2014, 7:16 PM
- ChannelAdvisor (ECOM) clients saw a 23% Y/Y increase in their Amazon (AMZN) same-store sales in February. That's up from January's 14% clip, albeit down from the growth seen over much of 2013. ChannelAdvisor thinks improving weather contributed to the M/M growth pickup.
- Clients saw a 15% EBAY same-store sales increase, up from 12.7% in January. Auctions fell 8.5% Y/Y, but fixed-price and Motors sales respectively rose 15.5% and 22.3%.
- Search ad-driven same-store sales, dominated by traffic from Google (GOOG) AdWords placements, rose only 4.3%, down from January's 10.3%. Clicks fell 9% and cost per click (pressured by lower smartphone ad prices) 7%, while click rates rose 4%.
- On the other hand, same-store sales driven by Google's increasingly popular product listing ads (PLAs) rose 48% Y/Y. That figure is down from January's 62.8%, but it's worth noting PLAs were only launched in late 2012. Average order value fell 8%, but click rates rose 17%.
- AMZN +0.9% AH. Shares managed to buck a market selloff in regular trading on account of the company's Prime price hike.
Mar. 12, 2014, 12:24 PM
- The National Retail Federation calls on Congress to pass legislation that would require online and remote sellers to collect local and state taxes.
- Top NRF exec David French told a House committee that out-of-state sellers sometimes have a 10% price and market advantage over brick-and-mortar local merchants.
- The Senate already passed legislation that would give each state the right to require sales tax collection, but legal battles have gone both ways. In Illinois, the State Supreme Court invalidated an online tax law.
- Related stocks: AMZN, OSTK, NILE, SALE, ECOM, EBAY.
Mar. 10, 2014, 12:55 PM
- Leon Cooperman tells CNBC he backs fellow eBay (EBAY -1%) shareholder Carl Icahn's call for a PayPal spinoff. Cooperman's Omega Advisors owned 855K eBay shares (less than a .1% stake) at the end of Q4.
- Meanwhile, Icahn (2%+ stake) has fired a fresh broadside at eBay CEO John Donahoe over his handling of the Skype sale (previous), declaring his "inexcusable incompetence" cost shareholders over $4B.
- The letter comes shortly after eBay (as expected) rejected Icahn's board nominees. Both Icahn and Donahoe claim to have strong shareholder support for their PayPal stances.
Mar. 10, 2014, 8:39 AM
Feb. 27, 2014, 2:03 PM
- Though eBay's (EBAY +2.1%) management and board may not be thrilled with Carl Icahn's war of words with the company, shares are now up 7% since the activist investor took aim at eBay's governance on Monday morning.
- This morning, Icahn issued a new letter in which he took up eBay's challenge to have an "honest, accurate, debate" with him (CNBC has offered to host), and say he sent a letter yesterday to eBay yesterday "demanding to inspect all books and records" related to the sale of Skype to an investor group featuring board member/VC Marc Andreessen.
- Icahn also calls ex-Intuit CEO Scott Cook's presence on the board akin to Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll "sitting in when the Denver Broncos were constructing their game plan."
- Meanwhile, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar is once more defending his company's decision not to spin off PayPal, and calls Icahn's claims regarding Andreessen and Cook "unfounded."
- More on eBay/Icahn
Feb. 26, 2014, 2:52 PM
- A year after leading a $50M investment round in leading Indian e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal, eBay (EBAY +2%) has led a $133.7M round. Re/code reports eBay "contributed a large majority of the total investment."
- eBay Marketplaces chief Devin Wenig recently stated eBay might fully acquire Snapdeal down the road, while cautioning no decision has been made.
- Snapdeal, which competes against Amazon and local rival Flipkart (as well as eBay's Indian site), expects to handle $1B worth of gross sales this year. The company estimates its average transaction cut is in the low-teens.
- Separately, eBay has responded to Carl Icahn's latest letter with some fighting words of its own, and an aggressive defense of the company and director/VC Marc Andreessen's handling of the Skype sale.
- eBay: "Carl Icahn doesnt let the truth get in the way of a good story. And while his letters and media interviews may be entertaining, they are not factually accurate ... We challenge Mr. Icahn to end his own charade with our shareholders."
Feb. 26, 2014, 9:34 AM
- Much like the letter he issued on Monday, Carl Icahn 's latest missive to eBay (EBAY +1.2%) shareholders criticizes board members Marc Andreessen (not up for re-election) and Scott Cook's perceived conflicts of interest, calling the directors "value-driven for themselves."
- The activist investor once more urges shareholders to vote for his two board nominees, and to back a precatory (non-binding) proposal regarding a PayPal split.
- Icahn: "If you ran your own company, would you ever allow your competitors to sit at the table as you planned and executed your business strategy? ... We believe corporate governance at eBay is dysfunctional."
- Update: eBay responds to Icahn's letter, and takes a few shots of its own. "Carl Icahn doesn't let the truth get in the way of a good story. And while his letters and media interviews may be entertaining, they are not factually accurate."
EBAY vs. ETF Alternatives
Other News & PR