eBay: Plenty of Options to Unlock Value

On Wednesday, eBay (EBAY) will hold a meeting with analysts to discuss the current business and strategy. There is little expectation that the company will announce any dramatic moves, and concern about the health of the business remains high, as expressed by eBay’s surprisingly low P/E–the stock trades at just seven times expected 2009 results. Of the 29 analysts tracked by Thomson who follow the company, only four rate the stock a Buy or Strong Buy.

But Marianne Wolk, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group, one of the few outright bulls on the stock, asserts that eBay actually has a variety of options which could unlock substantial shareholder value. In a research note this morning, Wolk runs through a variety of ways that eBay could potentially re-energize the Street about the stock:

  • Boost the value of PayPal through a strategic partnership with Google (GOOG). She notes that PayPal and eBay have massive amounts of data on consumer online shopping behavior that could be tremendously valuable in terms of ad targeting. “With PayPal’s conversion and spending data, Google could significantly improve ad targeting, raise click-through rates” and increase cost per click rates, she says.

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