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E-commerce

Ebay shares down after Q1 growth underwhelms analysts

Ebay delivered a 12 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue for the quarter ending March 31, 2018 to US$2.58 billion at US$0.53 earnings per share (EPS), but it was not enough to reassure analysts, who had been expecting US$0.53 EPS on US$2.59 billion in revenue.

The online marketplace forecasted net revenue in the second quarter of between US$2.64 billion and US$2.68 billion, disappointing analysts, who had been projecting US$2.68 billion, and sending shares tumbling.

Ebay’s efforts to improve the customer experience by personalising its home page to each customer, enhancing its delivery proposition and highlighting the number and diversity of its sellers has faced greater scrutiny in light of Amazon’s continued expansion and Walmart’s investment in e-commerce.

Devin Wenigh, president and CEO of Ebay, said the global marketplace is making good progress on the strategy.

“In Q1 we drove good growth and made further progress with our multi-year effort to transform our customer experience and sharpen the eBay brand,” Wenig said.

In the first quarter, Ebay grew active buyers by 4 per cent across its platforms, for a total of 171 million global active buyers.

The marketplace platforms delivered US$2.1 billion of revenue and US$22.5 billion of the company’s total gross merchandise volume (GMV) of US$23.6 billion.

Marketplace revenue growth was 11 per cent on an as-reported basis and 7 per cent, excluding changes in the foreign exchange rate. GMV was up 13 per cent on an as-reported basis and 7 per cent, excluding changes in the foreign exchange rate.

During the quarter, the company introduced a new augmented reality shipping tool to help customers find the right box to ship an item and leveraged artificial intelligence to enhance the overall search functionality. Ebay also appointed Jan Pedersen as chief scientist of artificial intelligence.

In its second annual global study of gender pay equity in the recently released 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Report, Ebay found that women earn 100 per cent of what men earn in terms of total compensation in the US and earn 100.1 per cent of what men earn in terms of total compensation globally.

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