eBay Watch: Improved Listings, Raised Target, Neighborhoods and More

| About: eBay Inc. (EBAY)

A number of key developments to note for eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) watchers:

eBay Q4 Week 1 Listings Above Expectations

Helped by a UK promotion, Q4 listings have gotten off to a great start. According to Merrill Lynch, week 1 total listings came in at 7.4% Y/Y growth. This contrasts with the negative Y/Y growth figures we've become so used to seeing during Q3. Although we saw listings growth in every eBay geography, the vast spread is something to note, with the US lagging the group at 0.6% Y/Y growth and the UK and France leading the group at 57.8% and 37.8% Y/Y growth respectively. On a different note, core listings continue to fuel growth while store listings are still eroding, particularly in the US.

As some of you have asked, here is eBay's own advice on how to go about tracking listings totals.

Piper Jaffray Raises Target to $42

Piper Jaffray & Co. raised their price target for eBay yesterday from $37 to $42 while maintaining a Market Perform rating. The firm modestly increased eBay's annual earnings for 2007 and 2008 from $0.01 and $0.02 to $1.14 and $1.39, respectively. The firm also raised Q3 revenues from $1,845M to $1,862M. This compares to eBay's own guidance of $1,775-1,825M.

Kijiji is on Fire

It was less than 1 month ago that I reported Kijiji breaking the 100,000th listing milestone in the US alone. In recent weeks growth has continued unabated and, by my count, Kijiji US have now surpassed 130,000 listings. That makes Kijiji one of eBay's fastest growing properties (ignoring monetization for now). And they didn't have to pay $3.0 billion for it either:)

These are exactly the kind of organic business opportunities eBay need to pursue aggresively. Kijiji was already a success in many countries and bringing it to the US was a low-risk, high return proposition. Another perfect example of where eBay should expand to new countries is StubHub!. Europe, for example, is begging for StubHub!.

Anyway, at a time when recent headlines seem to imply eBay has lost its way, it's nice to see that the company still has an entrepreneurial side ready to launch and grow complementary ventures.

eBay Launches Neighborhoods

Meg Whitman always says eBay was the original social networking site. Well, in an attempt to bring the on-site social networking back to speed, eBay has just launched eBay Neighborhoods.

According to eBay:

Neighborhoods offer a whole new way for you to share and connect with others interested in the same items and topics as you. Think of Neighborhoods as a gathering place for fans of a certain product, team, artist, and more. They've been created around popular items and searches and are designed for members with a very specific interest in mind.

eBay has said there will be several hundred Neighborhoods in the next few days. It'll be interesting to see if this initiative gets any traction.

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