All Eyes on eBay Inc (EBAY) Ahead of Earnings Today
eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) popularized the concept of online shopping in the late 90s and early 2000s, but now it must reinvent itself to compete with the next wave of online e commerce led by Amazon. eBay’s realigned as an online marketplace come amid a rapidly changing consumer environment. Active buyers now amount to 165 million over 1 billion live listings and across 30 countries. The broad turnaround helped boost comparisons in light of these changing trends and the spinoff of PayPal nearly a year and a half ago. Analysts remain optimistic that the auction site turned online marketplace can report meaningful gains in this evening’s fiscal fourth quarter announcement.
The Estimize community forecasts earnings to increase by 10% to 55 cents per share, marking a sharp acceleration from the third quarter. That estimate hasn’t changed in the past 3 months when eBay last reported. Analysts target sales for the period at $2.43 billion, about 4% higher than the same period last year. Historically the stock tends to react well during earnings season, rising about 1% immediately through the print to 3% in the month after. That said if Ebay misses or beats in a dramatic fashion price movement could touch double digits in either direction.
Ebay’s transition from an auction site to online marketplace also includes several acquisitions and strategic brand partnerships. The results is a company driven by continually strong performance across its now core marketplace business, eBay classified ads, and Stubhub. Recent acquisitions aim to leverage the immense amount of structured and unstructured data to drive user acquisition and refine search results.
In a similar vein, partnerships with Qualcomm and Mattel will support the other user acquisition efforts to its online properties. The additional rolleout of curated listed on Facebook Messenger provides customers with a better shopping experience.
Apart of eBay, Stubhub continues to gain traction as a popular alternative to Ticketmaster or scalpers for last minute tickets. The company recently rolled out a new product that enables users to reach support through a Skype chatbot. As for MercadoLibre, essentially South American eBay, management recently decided to move on and sell most of its stake in the company, scoring a considerable gain for the quarter.
Out of the 35 analysts polled in the past 12 months, 14 rate Ebay stock a Buy, 17 rate the stock a Hold and 4 recommend to Sell. With a return potential of 8%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $32.64.