eBay posts strong macro results, core datapoints concerning

July 18, 2007

Marketplaces ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Today eBay announced Q2 results.  The analyst consensus on revenue and EPS were: $1.78b/$.32 eBay beat on both counts coming in at $1.83b/$.34.

From an outlook perspective eBay nudged up the low point of the 07 revenue range and moved the entire EPS range up.  Previously, the revenue/EPS guidance was: $7.2b-7.45b, EPS: $1.30-$1.34 and today eBay changed it to: $7.3b-7.45b, EPS: $1.34-$1.38

Some of the datapoints on the core marketplace business that are concerning are:

  • GMV’s y/y growth was 12%, but revenue grew 26%.
  • Confirmed registered users grew 19% y/y
  • ACTIVE registered users grew 7% y/y
  • Non-store listings were down 2% y/y
  • Store listings were down 25% y/y

The one thing that I get concerned about is the fact that if marketplace revenue is growing at 2x the rate of GMV, does that mean that sellers are essentially paying double the effective take rate?  If not, then where is the additional revenue coming from?  Yahoo! Search Marketing/Adwords?  If so, is that really driving shareholder value?  I’m sure some of that comes from the better non-store/store mix shift, but that can’t be more than 10-20% of the delta.

As the dust settles on the Q, we’ll be reviewing analyst+eBay comments to see if they shed any light into the difference in the GMV and revenue growth rates.