eBay’s results are out and the stock is down 5% or so in after hours trade. Q3 looked like a good solid ‘meet/beat’ Q, so let’s dig in and see what’s up.
Q3 – the turnaround in marketplaces seems to be working.
The metrics we watch most closely showed continued positive trends in Q3.
- Y/Y GMV (ex-autos) grew 10% compared to a trend that was as low as -16% in Q1
- Fixed price GMV is now 56% of GMV – up from 51% last Q 46% in the year ago period
- Sold items were up 30% y/y
The only concerning marketplace datapoint is the active user data which remains anemic – still topped out around 89m users. This is up only 2% y/y.
Other interesting tidbits:
- eBay is previewing a diamond ring builder at http://diamonds.ebay.com
- Management seemed pretty up-beat during the call
- Donahoe mentioned they are going to launch a substantial Q4 campaign this year which sellers will like to hear.
Q4 – Hmm – storm ahead or conservatism?
So this sounds pretty good, what could be wrong? Analysts were forecasting eBay’s Q4 revenue to be $2.26b and eBay’s guidance released today suggests a $2.25b mid-point. This is clearly below expectations (albeit slightly) and some expectations were hoping to raise that mid-point which clearly won’t happen.
Additionally margins came down due to a change in mix between the core business, BML and other lower-margin lines of business (Skype).
The big question from today’s results are: Is eBay being conservative and managing expectations or are they seeing a grinchy holiday ahead?
We’ll report the Amazon results via sister-site Amazon Strategies.
SeekingAlpha disclosure: I am long Amazon and Google. eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor where I am CEO.