As an eBay employee, many moons ago, I kept a healthy interest in eBay Inc.’s share price, not least because I had some options as part of my package there. But since departing I’ve barely looked at it: a share price doesn’t in itself tell us much aside from what Wall St. thinks will generate a return and the price alone is intrinsically uninteresting.
But I was surprised to see that eBay’s stock price has shown a bit of wow over the past year or so. It’s increased 70% in a run that has outperformed much of the tech sector, and indeed the market, bringing eBay Inc.’s stock price close to an all time high. Back in 2004, it topped $58 dollars and today it teeters around the $56 mark. It’s not so many years since it collapsed to close to $10.
So why is this? Fortune magazine offers some insight in a rather breathless article called “eBay is Back!” in its latest edition. I thoroughly recommend that you take a read and see some of the things that Wall St. likes. John Donohoe comes in for great praise and there is some interesting reflection on what eBay got wrong in the past.
I’m sure you won’t be shy to share your views. But I’m staggered by some of the numbers in the article. In particular, JD notes that less than 10% of the eBay business is auctions. And one other thing leapt out too: eBay now considers itself a “technology partner” for big retailers.