EBay Forecasts Weaker Revenue and Profit

The online retailer also reported lower net income and flat revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015.
Katie Kuehner-HebertJanuary 28, 2016
EBay Forecasts Weaker Revenue and Profit

EBay on Wednesday forecasted weaker-than-expected revenue and profit for the current quarter and full year, as the online retailer tries to revamp its core business and manage the effects of the strong U.S. dollar.

The San Jose, Calif. company forecast 2016 full-year adjusted profit of $1.82 to $1.87 per share and revenue of $8.5 billion to $8.8 billion. That was lower than analysts’ average expectation of $1.98 per share in profit and $8.99 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. In 2015, it reported $8.6 billion in revenue.

EBay’s 2016 first-quarter forecast of adjusted profit of 43 to 45 cents per share and revenue of $2.05 billion to $2.10 billion also missed analysts’ average estimates, according to Reuters.

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The company’s shares dropped more than 12%, to $23.51, in extended trading on Wednesday. The stock’s trailing-twelve-month price/earning’s ratio, based on GAAP earnings, is now 13.38

EBay not only faces intense competition from Amazon, but also Walmart and other brick-and-mortar retailers that are aggressively boosting their online presence, Reuters said.

To better compete, EBay is refocusing on its roots — unique inventory and smaller sellers — under its new chief executive Devin Wenig.

For the fourth quarter of 2015, EBay’s net income fell to $477 million, or 39 cents per share, from $1.02 billion, or 82 cents per share. Revenue was flat at $2.32 billion, in line with analysts’ average expectations. Excluding the effects of currency changes, eBay’s revenue grew 5% in the quarter.

Gross merchandise value, or the total value of all goods sold on its site, rose 5% after accounting for foreign exchange impact.

EBay’s fourth-quarter numbers were in contrast to overall online sales figures for the November-to-December 2015 holiday period, which rose 9%, to $105 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.