EBay's Analyst Day Tomorrow Could Be PayPal Lovefest

EMoney’s paying eBay a visit tomorrow to attend its analyst day, which will provide an update on the company three years after John Donahoe took over the reins from Meg Whitman.

A lot has changed in that time.

PayPal has become an increasingly important part of eBay’s business, comprising 37.5 percent of its overall revenues in 2010. It is also the fastest-growing division, with revenues jumping 23 percent compared with 2009’s.

And, since eBay’s last analyst day almost two years ago, the company’s stock has tripled.

Still, expect feelings to be mixed.

In the past couple of years, eBay has been working hard to improve its site, making it easier for merchants to sell and easier for buyers to find what they are looking for. But eBay’s traditional marketplaces division grew by only eight percent last year and faces steep competition from Amazon and next-generation shopping-site offerings ranging from Groupon’s daily deals to Gilt Groupe’s flash sales.

Another growth area is mobile–both for PayPal as it expands into mobile payments, and also for commerce opportunities.

EBay has been quick to acquire companies to fill these gaps, purchasing RedLaser, which is a mobile application for comparing prices; Critical Path, which was a small app developer; and Milo, which keeps a database of inventory in local stores. EBay still has around $7 billion in cash on hand to make a much more substantial acquisition.

Because PayPal isn’t a home run, either.

Many companies are trying to solve different parts of the mobile payments puzzle, including Zong, Boku and BilltoMobile–for digital and virtual goods–and Square, which is turning mobile phones into point-of-sales device. Not to mention Apple, Google and Amazon, which are all working on alternate payment services, as well.

Making matters worse, PayPal’s Osama Bedier–who was VP of platform, overseeing PayPal’s global payments platform, including mobile–recently resigned to take a job across town at Google.

The event kicks off at 8 am tomorrow (Thursday) and will include an opening keynote from Donahoe, who will address financial objectives and the company’s vision for the future of shopping and payments.

The event will also be heavy on PayPal speakers, including Scott Thompson, PayPal’s president; Ed Eger, PayPal’s SVP and general manager; and Sam Shrauger, VP of global product and experience–among many others.

Follow our liveblog here on eMoney, or the webcast on eBay’s investor relations page.

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