Monday, August 21, 2006


According to the WSJ's "Heard on the Street" column, despite a recent swoon in eBay's (EBAY) share price, Wall St. seems willing to give CEO Meg Whitman the benefit of the doubt. EBay's merchants beg to differ. Some of those who sell merchandise through the co's Web site recently have called for drastic action and mgmt change at the co. They are particularly upset at the deterioration in the co's flagship auction site, where they say they are seeing fewer transactions and declining sale prices. "EBay's core [auction] performance is suffering tremendously," says Steve Grossberg, a longtime videogame seller on eBay. He says he now lists an item 4x on avg in order to sell it, up from two listings two years ago. Adds Andy Mowery, an eBay seller of home and garden gear: "It is time for new leadership at eBay." Yet investor sentiment toward Ms. Whitman remains sanguine. "The problems eBay's got are a function of the fact that they're a large co," says Ken Smith, a portfolio manager at Munder Capital, which owns eBay shares. "I don't think mgmt change is necessitated."

According to the Barron's Online "Inside Scoop" section, defense stocks may have seen some bearish investor sentiment lately, but two directors at DynCorp International (DCP) recently spent nearly $2.1m on the open market fortifying their holdings of the government securities-services contractor.

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