Tags: US | EBay | Mover

eBay Shares Slide Amid April Sales Worry

Tuesday, 04 May 2010 01:34 PM

Shares of eBay Inc. fell amid a broader market downturn Tuesday amid worry that the online retailer's sales did not fare strongly in April.

Citing data from ChannelAdvisor Corp., a provider of software and services to online retailers, Janney Capital Markets analyst Shawn Milne said April data shows things were "choppy" for eBay last month. Of retailers selling on eBay that ChannelAdvisor tracks, sales at stores open at least a year declined to flat in April after a 3 percent increase in March, the analyst said.

But he in a note to investors said he thinks "this softness is fully contemplated" in eBay's second-quarter guidance, provided last month. For the quarter ending in June, eBay on Apr. 22 forecast an adjusted profit of 37 cents to 39 cents per share on revenue of $2.15 billion to $2.2 billion. Analysts predict earnings of 39 cents per share on revenue of $2.19 billion, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

Ebay recently changed its fee structure and its search and feedback system, and Milne said the changes are causing short-term disruptions. He kept a "Buy" rating on eBay and said he spoke with a few larger eBay sellers who indicated that sales were on track early in the second quarter.

Colin Sebastian, an analyst with Lazard Capital Markets, also kept a "Buy" rating on eBay, and called the stock's drop Thursday an "overreaction" to ChannelAdvisor's data.

"There have been transitional issues with marketplace changes and it's not unexpected there would be some disruption," he said.

A ChannelAdvisor representative did not immediately return a call Tuesday to give detail on the data.

Shares of eBay fell $1.23, or 5.1 percent, to $22.68 in midday trading. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $15.77 and $28.37.

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