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EBay Drops on Second-Quarter Sales Concern: San Francisco Mover

EBay Drops on Second-Quarter Sales Concern
The EBay Inc. company logo is displayed in the company's office in Hong Kong. Photographer: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg

EBay Inc., the world’s largest online marketplace, fell the most in almost seven months after an analyst said second-quarter sales may miss estimates because of a slowdown in U.S. e-commerce spending growth.

The shares declined 4.6 percent to $39.59 at the close in New York, the biggest decrease since Nov. 9. The stock has climbed 31 percent this year.

Sales for the quarter ending in June will be $3.33 billion, according to a projection today by Investment Technology Group Inc. That’s less than the average $3.37 billion analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue from the PayPal unit, EBay’s fastest-growing segment, will be $1.23 billion, according to ITG, falling short of a $1.24 billion estimate. Online merchandise will generate $1.42 billion, missing the $1.44 billion estimate, ITG said.

“They usually beat the high end,” Herman Leung, an analyst at Susquehanna International Group in San Francisco., said in an interview. “If they come in within range, for EBay, that’s a miss. People are thinking, if they miss here, that means the numbers need to come down.”

Online retail sales have increased year-over-year for 10 consecutive quarters, data from ComScore Inc. show. E-commerce spending rose 17 percent to $44.3 billion in the first quarter, compared with a 12 percent increase in the same period of 2011, ComScore said earlier this month.

“E-commerce growth has accelerated and exceeded consensus expectations so far this year, and we see that trend continuing,” David Spitz, president of Morrisville, North Carolina-based ChannelAdvisor Corp., whose software helps retailers manage online sales, said via e-mail.

Price Declines

EBay’s online sales revenue is being curtailed by a decline in the average selling price of merchandise, ITG said. Price decreases would reduce revenue for the PayPal unit, which gets 34 percent of payment volume from EBay’s online sales, ITG said.

EBay in April forecast second-quarter revenue of $3.25 billion to $3.35 billion. Profit excluding some items will be 53 cents to 55 cents, the company said last month. The average analyst estimate is currently 55 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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