It's been a wild few months for eBay Inc. ($EBAY), from getting a new interim CEO in Scott Schenkel to selling off StubHub. This week's earnings call may be a tone-setter for the coming decade. The last time we wrote about eBay, it was mostly about Viagogo and their shiny new purchase. But for now, it's eBay's time to shine.
The company is set to report earnings later today after the market closes. According to Zacks Investment Research, analysts forecast an EPS of $0.62. You can read more about what to expect here. For our purposes here, though, we look at the alternative data via workforce growth, hiring, and social media, to give us a different perspective. As you'll see, eBay has a somewhat tough road ahead.
Recently, LinkedIn purged a lot of dead accounts from its website, which included stagnant, incorrect, ghost, or otherwise invalid profiles. And out of all the companies we've looked at, eBay took one the biggest hits on this front, losing over 4,000 LinkedIn profiles. So in reality, while eBay still might be at its largest staff count ever, it's slightly lower than originally reported.
This lines up with eBay's job openings, which have fallen over time. In 2018, eBay was actively looking for over a thousand new workers, but now it lists around 400 on its recruiting websites. That's a 65% decrease in those two years, and after shedding PayPal and planning to do the same with StubHub, eBay looks to be slimming down. This isn't necessarily a bad thing: For a legacy site and famed internet icon, a little less overhead may create room for growth in other areas.
The only real concern for eBay, as far as our data is concerned, is interest in the brand on Facebook has been dire these last few months. People used to talk about eBay online more than they do now, and Facebook likes have gone down for the first time ever. Is consumer interest in bidding for things just over now? If we had the answer to that, we'd be millionaires.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.