This article was edited to include Amazon's Q1 results, which were released April 22, 2010.
As eBay enters the last year of its three-year plan to revive growth in its marketplace business, the needle appears to be moving in the right direction. Revenue for the first quarter of 2010 reached $2.2 billion, just ahead of what Wall Street analysts had hoped to see.
eBay's future profit estimates didn't give analysts much to cheer about, however. After announcing its forecast for the second quarter, eBay's stock price took a dip.
The site also continues to lose ground to Amazon, which is attracting new visitors at a faster pace. In the first three months of the year, eBay's monthly unique U.S. visitors grew 1.2 percent, to Amazon's 27 percent, according to ComScore.
Amazon's first-quarter revenue grew 46 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago, while profits spiked 68 percent year-over-year.
But it isn't over until it's over, as they say. Several recently implemented changes at eBay have the potential to make a material impact in the coming months by appealing to both buyers and sellers. These include reduced listing fees, new buyer protections to increase customer support and trust, a new, heavily hyped fashion hub and three new mobile applications for the iPhone and iPad.
We are becoming a more customer-focused and technology-driven company
Crunching the numbers
eBay's first-quarter revenue of $2.2 billion was up 9 percent from a year ago, or 18 percent not including Skype, which eBay sold earlier this year. Net income also grew to $397.7 million, an 11-percent increase from a year ago.
PayPal continues to be the catalyst for much of eBay's growth, posting a 35-percent increase in total payment volume, and 26-percent growth in revenue.
eBay also points to acceleration in sales of fixed-price merchandise and the addition of Gmarket as contributing to its turnaround progress. Marketplaces, the business unit that includes eBay, Shopping.com, StubHub, eBay Classifieds and other e-commerce sites, recorded $1.4 billion in revenue for the first quarter, an increase of 13 percent year-over-year.
"Our first quarter results reflect another strong step toward achieving our three-year growth and profitability goals," says John Donahoe, eBay's president and CEO. "We are becoming a more customer-focused and technology-driven company, delivering more innovative products and experiences and driving operating efficiencies to reinvest in growth. We are improving the fundamentals of our business, strengthening eBay Marketplaces and aggressively growing PayPal to become the leader in global online payments."
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.