eBay Inc (EBAY) Marketplace Growth Accelerating: Baird

eBay Inc (EBAY) Marketplace Growth Accelerating: Baird

Baird Equity Reseach analysts Colin Sebastian and Rohit Kulkarni maintain an Outperform rating for eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) as they look at the results from a recent survey.

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Our proprietary eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) Marketplace survey suggests a slight acceleration in eBay Marketplace growth since early February, although trends overall are fairly stable, and we believe largely in line with expectations. For the full month of February, our tracking suggests low double-digit growth, slightly above our January tracker. Maintain Outperform rating.

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February finishes stronger after a slow start

Our proprietary eBay Tracker indicates a modest pick-up in growth over the past 2-3 weeks following a slow start to the month and the year. Specifically, in our survey, the first week in February marked the slowest growth week, ramping to low double-digit volume growth overall. Based on our merchant checks, we believe some of the lumpiness stems from upgrades to eBay’s search engine (Cassini) as well as mixed consumer spending trends. We also note that initial data points regarding February e-commerce in the U.K. suggest stable growth, likely boosted by soggy weather conditions. Overall, we believe data suggest Q1 is trending largely in line with expectations for the eBay Marketplace, although we note that year-over-year comps are more difficult in March.

Using Machine Learning to drive growth in emerging markets

According to a Techcrunch article over the weekend, eBay is “doubling down” on machine learning in order to drive faster growth in emerging markets. Hassan Sawaf, who is eBay’s senior director of machine translation, is leading the company’s efforts to automate the translation of product listings into Russian, and recently launched an update to eBay search that significantly increases the number of product listings available for Russian-language shoppers. We note that context translation is one several machine learning initiatives by eBay, which also includes the “Cassini” search engine upgrades.

eBay Valuation

Maintain Outperform rating and $65 price target for eBay. We believe downside risk from current levels is likely limited by the high value of PayPal and Carl Icahn’s recent activism (sum of the parts analysis).

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  1. ATTN EBAY-If Ebay would simply contact us so we could sell them our
    business operating system,they would have the Storefront Franchise
    (minus the inventory control headache like Amazon) , the $100+ share
    would be no problem (Phillip Cohen just wait before laughing too much),
    Ebay should and could be a Walmart sized company leaving Amazon behind
    for good, there would be 500+ million users (conservatively stated)
    within a few years, they could be helping the environment while
    stimulating economies worldwide extending further than Ebay is already
    doing ,Ebay could be utilizing and multi-tasking large aquisitions like
    Shutl by making $ with them instead of trying to break even just to
    please the consumer, we could also show Ebay how to create their own
    currency (literally printing it) making Ebay bucks look like monopoly $,
    we would also introduce Ebay to new forms of revenue, and John Donahoe
    would sail beyond Ebay’s target monetary goals increasing his earnings
    instead of losing $. We have the finest disruptive innovation Ebay has
    seen yet. Ebay we are coming for you, our system was designed for Ebay
    & Ebay only. We Help Others (WHO) will be one of Ebay’s finest and
    most valuable acquisitions. The handicap will be empowered and a new way
    to make a living for millions will be created. We are implementing
    aspects and building each day. It won’t be long (1-2yrs tops) before we
    enter Ebay’s radar. I’d love Ebay to see what we have now so we could
    merge with Ebay’s workforce and excel this process. We need Ebay &
    Paypal to stay together. Ebay some of your future acquistions depend on
    the two staying as one..ICAHN BACK OFF!! OPEN YOUR EYES EBAY FOR
    WEHELPOTHERS (WHO) !!! No one on this planet envisions Ebay as large as
    we do…no one…
    Omidyar, Donahoe, Andreessen, …no one. My name
    is Darrell Petrey and I am waiting for Ebay in Wilmington Ohio. User ID

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