Internet Retailing Industry
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Internet Retailing Industry Internet Retailing Industry Document Transcript

  • Internet Retailing Industry Created by: John Flood Adolfo Saucedo Cuong Vu Karolina Zonsius
  • Table of Contents Executive Summary………………………………………………1 Business & Management overview……………………………………………….2 Macroeconomics Analysis………………………………………………..4 Industry Analysis……………………………………………….6 Financial Ratios………………………………………………….13 News & Special Issues……………………………………………………16 Bibliography……………………………………………21
  • Executive Summary We chose eBay and Amazon because we felt that these two companies were strong businesses that survived the “.com bust” and actually posted increases in revenues. But what we did not know was that even if this was true, Internet retailing can be a very volatile industry to invest in. eBay and Amazon are fairly new businesses that are just experiencing growing pains that all business have. Both businesses are continuing growing by acquisition, investments, and expansion. Analysts believe both Amazon and Ebay are still in their early phase and are poised for growth in the long run with their investments today, even if that means stock value dropping. eBay has been successful to date and their management team has demonstrated that it can prosper, as it has done so far. There are consumer demands around the globe for products/services available in eBay's marketplace. eBay has been integrating recent acquisitions and executing its business plan effectively through new technologies. Although there have been negative publicity generated as a result of conduct by users of eBay and eBay itself, expansion into new emerging markets has been the goal of eBay, and they have been successful in that. eBay's future success will depend on the performances of its executive and senior management, key technical personnel, and its continuing ability to find and retain highly qualified technical and managerial personnel. Sales growth for Amazon has been moderate, reflecting a maturing business and increasing competition. Amazon’s ongoing strategy of trading off gross profit dollars to maintain price leadership and to drive sales conversions is hurting their profits right now. To sustain longer term sales growth and profitability, Amazon needs consumers to buy
  • without promotions, which is why they are investing in customer retainer-ship presently. They are offering the lowest prices and free shipping in the short term, so they can build customer loyalty for the longer term, but we won’t know when that term will come. Lower than projected revenues are due to reduced consumer spending and Amazon’s failure to enter into and maintain agreements and strategic alliances other with merchant partners. By most measures, Amazon has little or no current value; it has only minimal book value. Liquidating Amazon today would leave its investors with nothing. But the market thinks the company's future profit potential is great. They believe that Amazon’s investment of low prices will benefit them in the long term. Since Amazon is far from profitable right now, the stock price is based almost entirely on expectations of future growth. That's one reason Amazon's stock is so volatile: As those expectations rise and fall, so does the price of its stock. With the above information, we recommend investors to BUY/HOLD eBay stock, and BUY/SELL Amazon stock. Both companies share value fluctuate on a daily basis, but we believe eBay is a stronger firm, with plans for the present and future, whereas Amazon is looking ahead for the long run numbers.
  • Business & Management Overview eBay As you may already know, eBay Inc. developed an Internet-based community in which buyers and sellers are brought together to buy and sell almost anything. The eBay online service permits sellers to browse through listed items in fully automated, topically arranged service that is available online seven days a week. Through the Pay Pal service, the company enables any business or consumer with e-mail in 38 countries to send and receive online payments. As of December 31, 2003, through wholly owned and majority- owned affiliates, eBay had web sites directed in the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia and other 17 countries. Today, the eBay community includes more than a hundred million registered members from around the world. People spend more time on eBay than any other web site, making it one of the most popular shopping destinations on the Internet. The following shows the complete roster of the key executives that run the company successfully every day of the year: Executive Team Source: Ebay.com Pierre Omidyar, Founder and Chairman of the Board Meg Whitman, President and CEO John Donahoe, President, eBay Marketplace Maynard Webb, Chief Operating Officer Rajiv Dutta, Chief Financial Officer William C. Cobb, President, eBay North America Matt Bannick, President, eBay International
  • Jeff Jordan, President, PayPal Scott Thompson, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, PayPal Lynn Reedy, Senior Vice President, Product, Development and Architecture Michael Jacobson, Senior Vice President and General Counsel Henry Gomez, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Government Relations Alex Kazim, Senior Vice President, New Ventures Beth Axelrod, Senior Vice President, Human Resources Amazon Amazon.com is considered a pioneer in online retailing, it expanded during the late 1990s to offer the “Earth’s Biggest Selection” of books, electronics, toys, tools, apparel, and many more. The company competes great internationally as they operate in six global web sites. Through third-party agreements, Amazon.com also sells products from well-known retailers including Toysrus.com, Target Corporation, Circuit City Stores, Borders Group and Hotwire. Although the company is sometimes criticized for its focus on market share over profits, Amazon.com put investor’s fears to rest when it secured its first net profit during the fourth quarter of 2001. The following table shows the Amazon.com officers that make the company stay competitive in the industry. Officers Jeffrey P. Bezos President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board Rick Dalzell Senior Vice President, Worldwide Architecture & Platform Software, and Chief Information Officer Jeffrey Holden Senior Vice President, Discovery Jason Kilar Senior Vice President, Worldwide Application Software Mark S. Peek Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer
  • Diego Piacentini Senior Vice President, Worldwide Retail & Marketing Kal Raman Senior Vice President, Worldwide Hardlines Retail Mark V. Stabingas Senior Vice President, Worldwide Business Development And Services Sales Tom Szkutak Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Wilke Senior Vice President, Worldwide Operations and Customer Service Michelle Wilson Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary Source: Amazon.com Macroeconomics Analysis Many industries are receptive to the economy cycle and the Internet Retail Industry is one of them. Ebay Inc. and Amazon.com are cyclical companies in nature. The industry tends to follow the economy as well as having trends like a seasonal company. They mostly get their revenue in the third and fourth quarters and in contrast they loose a lot of money in the first two quarters. Some of the factors that affect both companies are unemployment rates, inflation rates, and GDP rates. The industry tends to follow these three rates tremendously. When the economy is doing outstanding, the companies tend to follow the same route as the economy figures. The opposite turn is when the economy is doing badly; the industry also follows the same path. As cyclical industry it runs into deep conflicts with the economy because the customers tend to get scare of buying products from the companies because the economy is doing badly. In some sense the products in Ebay Inc. and Amazon.com act as luxury items. The unemployment rate is an important aspect of how the economy is running. Also, it reflects a great portion on how the Internet Retail is doing and make educational
  • forecast on how the companies within the industry are going to be in the future. The following table shows some important data on how the U.S. unemployment rate is doing: Quarterly Averages: Monthly data of 2005: 2004 2005 January February March 5.4 5.3 5.2 5.4 5.2 The unemployment rate has been having great figures the last two years. It has made great improvements and is recovering from the recession. Since the September 11 terrorist attacks the rate had been flirting at 7% and the last couple years have dropped to an average of 5.3%. Since the economy is making astronomical improvements the industry has responded by also improving with a better and more attractive profit margin in both respective companies. The inflation rate also is also great indication on how the economy is progressing. This is a condition when prices are going up. We all know from economics from the price and demand graphs that show when prices go up you are going to have fewer customers in your business. This is no exception within the Internet Retail industry. The inflation rates do reflect the overall performance of the companies. Ebay Inc. is a great example as to why the stock price keeps falling and is because the inflation rate has been increasing the last four months. The following table shows the performance in the U.S. in exact figures on the last 6 years of inflation rates data: Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov` Dec Ave 2005 2.97 3.01 3.15 - - - - - - - - - - 2004 1.93 1.69 1.74 2.29 3.05 3.27 2.99 2.65 2.54 3.19 3.52 3.26 2.68 2003 2.60 2.98 3.02 2.22 2.06 2.11 2.11 2.16 2.32 2.04 1.77 1.88 2.27 2002 1.14 1.14 1.48 1.64 1.18 1.07 1.46 1.80 1.51 2.03 2.20 2.38 1.59 2001 3.73 3.53 2.92 3.27 3.62 3.25 2.72 2.72 2.65 2.13 1.90 1.55 2.83 2000 2.74 3.22 3.76 3.07 3.19 3.73 3.66 3.41 3.45 3.45 3.45 3.39 3.38
  • Within the averages of each year the best performing year is 2002 and the worst year in inflation rates in 2000 and that also reflects tremendously because of the severe recession at the time. Lastly, GDP rates are crucial indicators on how the economy is reflecting in the United States. As of late December 2004, the U.S. economy appeared to be recovering somewhat, with 2004 real growth in gross domestic product (GDP) running about 4.4% (year over year). This follows real GDP growth of 1.9% in 2002 and 3.0% in 2003. This only reemphasizes that the industry is acting like a seasonal company as its economic GDP is at year high during the time of December in the holidays. Industry Analysis AMZN SWOT Analysis Strengths • Global Brand • Business is Continually Evolving Weaknesses • New Business has added Complexity Opportunities • Pre-Orders on Products • Multi-Merchant Strategy Threats • Competition • Inventory Risk
  • Strengths Global brand Amazon.com has a strong brand image, which it continues to leverage, enabling it to launch multiple product segments such as consumer electronics, toys, and auctions, to satisfy its expanding customer base of more than 26 million people. The company has become synonymous with on-line retailing as it continues to develop a strong consumer oriented service on the Web. It has extended its recognition globally with sites in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the UK. .Business is continually evolving Amazon.com has evolved from the leading online book retailer to become the Internet’s pre-eminent shopping destination across a variety of product categories. Over the past few years, the company has reinvented itself and stimulated growth by providing consumers with a wider selection of products, including those from third parties, while simultaneously driving down prices and improving the overall value proposition for customers. As a result, Amazon is strategically positioned to continue growing its share of the retail market and reap the financial benefits on both the top and bottom lines. Weaknesses New Business has added Complexity Through the addition of new businesses, Amazon.com’s operations become more complex. New businesses result in the company’s expansion into new territories as well as expanding its product fulfillment infrastructure regionally. As business streams continue to develop, distribution methods become more of a concern and in many cases distribution partners are required to meet consumers needs adding further costs and reducing Amazon’s margins further.
  • Opportunities Pre-orders on Products Amazon generated free cash flow of $119 million in 2003, up sharply from the $3 million reported in the previous year. The company received customer payments for over 1.4 million units of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, for which payment to its vendors were not due until the third quarter of 2003. Obviously this was achieved by large discounting on the Harry Potter book but similar gains could be made on the prediction of future ’extraordinary events’ in the retail markets. The gaining of retail partnerships and the provision of discounts is a lucrative but risky market. Multi-merchant strategy Amazon’s new multi-merchant platform (universal wallet) is ready to roll out and several new stores, such as Apparel Store, which could include major clothing stores, are expected to open over the next three months. Amazon’s approach of incorporating several merchants in one store maintains Amazon’s value proposition for the consumer and enhances its brand without loosing customers to partners’ web sites. With Target, Circuit City, Toys R US, and now Office Depot as key merchants, Amazon is becoming a major online shopping mall. During fiscal 2003 the company increased selection by adding over 40,000 unique gourmet food items, more than 60,000 unique jewelry items, and over 70,000 unique health and personal care items. Also of interest, the company’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) introduced two new services in October 2004 that significantly enhanced the power of software developers and Web site owners to build new revenue generating applications on Amazon’s technology platform and product data through the free Amazon eCommerce Service 4.0.
  • Threats Competition intensifying The eCommerce market segments in which Amazon competes are relatively new, rapidly evolving and intensely competitive. In addition, the market segments in which Amazon participates are competitive and the company has many competitors in different industries, including the Internet and retail industries. While Amazon currently enjoys a prominent strategic position and relatively light competition in the online commerce and retailing field, companies like Wal-Mart and eBay pose a threat to Amazon’s market share, marketing costs and growth prospects. In particular, as Amazon expands deeper into third-party offerings and eBay grows its in-season retail business, the two companies’ business models have come into greater conflict with each other. Wal-Mart may increase its focus on online retail over time. Wal-Mart has considerable consumer loyalty and tremendous purchasing power that it is already using to deliver competitive low prices on some products over the Internet. In the short term, Amazon.com could be forced to heavily invest in customer acquisition, product development, and category expansions, as competitors like BarnesandNoble.com, Buy.com, and eBay begin to focus aggressively on pricing and marketing. Amazon is required to continually develop its offerings in order to maintain its market shares although this continual development could be seen as a risk factor because of the costs and the diversification of the Amazon brand. Inventory risk Amazon faces significant inventory risk arising from changes in consumer demand and product cycles. Amazon is required to have stocks products for sale so
  • demand can be satisfied within the required time. Obviously stock has to be predicted to an extent and therefore stored for a period of time another feature of the distribution business which can significantly increase costs especially if an unexpected trend occurred. EBAY SWOT Analysis Strengths • Business Model • Brand Name • Paypal Weaknesses • Advertising Revenues • Technology Development Opportunities • Internet Usage • International Expansion Threats • Competition • Consumer Confidence Strengths Business model Perhaps one of eBay’s biggest strengths is its business model. The company’s business model means that eBay has no inventory and low capital requirements. eBay’s business model also helps the company to increase gross margin while keeping customer acquisition costs fairly low.
  • Brand Name The strength of the eBay brand name is increasing. The brand is now becoming more of a household name, as it benefits from an increase in both brand awareness and brand recognition. The eBay brand name is also becoming better known internationally as the company expands its international presence to cover more markets. The increased equity of the eBay brand name will help the company to generate increased sales and profits. Pay Pal The acquisition of Pay Pal has helped the company to enhance the experience of customers using eBay. This has had a knock on effect and helped to boost the satisfaction of customers using eBay. Pay Pal saw its revenues rise by around 90% year- on-year, while it also experienced an 80% increase in payment volumes. Weaknesses Advertising revenues eBay’s advertising revenues have remained flat and currently represents around 2% of the company’s total revenues. Although advertising revenue only represents a small proportion of revenues, it is an area where eBay should be looking to exploit in order to generate greater revenues for the company as a whole. Advertising revenues could become more important for the company, if as forecasted, the market for online advertising increases over the coming years. Technology development eBay still needs to improve a number of areas of its website in order to generate increased sales in the future. The company needs to examine its user interface in order to
  • improve its payments and search operations further. If eBay were to do this, it would benefit from enhanced customer satisfaction, as the users experience of the service would increase. Opportunities Internet usage Internet usage is expected to grow over the forthcoming years. The increase in Internet usage will present eBay with an opportunity to boost the number of users it has, as well as its revenues and profits. It is predicted that future Internet usage will be boosted by factors such as the adoption of broadband technology. International expansion eBay has already had some success in its international expansion efforts. Revenues derived from international activities currently account for around 30% of the company’s overall revenues. The company could look to further its international expansion efforts in order to capture a leading share in markets that at present are untapped but have a high potential to generate revenues in the future. Threats Competition eBay encounters competition from a number of organizations in the marketplace. The company’s competitors include organizations such as Amazon.com, Yahoo!, Google, MSN, AOL Time Warner and uBid. All of these companies will combine to take away sales and market share from eBay. Interest and foreign currency exchange rates Fluctuating interest and foreign currency exchange rates will have a significant impact on eBay’s earnings.
  • Consumer confidence Maintaining consumer confidence in the Internet is vital if eBay is going to continue its rapid expansion. Negative publicity regarding a possible lack of security with regards to Internet shopping or fraudulent selling on the Internet will affect the company’s sales and profits. Increasing consumer confidence should result in an increase in usage of the Internet and sites such as eBay for eCommerce style activities. Financial Ratios Financial ratios are very useful in summarizing the information about company’s financial strengths and weaknesses. Financial ratios can also be used for future forecasting to see whether particular company can be successful in the industry. Ratios can be classified in different types, these include: liquidity, leverage, profitability, working capital, and growth. All financial ratios for eBay can be found in table one and for Amazon in table two. Liquidity Ratios Liquidity ratios are classified as very important to creditors and managers because they provide useful information about how particular company meets its short term obligations. eBay’s current ratio in 2003 was 2.7, above the industry average. It is still small number; higher current ratio might be a sign that the company may not be able to pay its bills on time. For Amazon current ratio was 1.6. Next important liquidity ratio is quick ratio. eBay’s quick ratio is 2.2 that mean that their inventory accounts for 2.2 of company’s current assets. Large inventories might be a sign of short term trouble. In case of Amazon inventories count for 1.2 of their assets.
  • Profitability Ratios Profitability ratios provide investors and creditors information on the success of the firm regarding the returns generated on investments and sales. These ratios include gross margin, return on assets and return on equity. The best indicator of profitability is return on assets and return on equity. For eBay return on assets is 9.7 and for Amazon 18.1. Both companies have high return on assets which is above the industry average ( 3.4 ). Higher return on assets indicates that companies’ net income is high. This means that both firms are able to provide their services at lower costs. For eBay return on equity equals 11.6 and it’s above the average. Amazon’s gross margin is 24.2 and it’s lower that the average where eBay’s is 87.1 which is very significant. Leverage Ratios Leverage ratios measure company’s use of debt to finance operations and assets. Smaller numbers are better. eBay’s debt-to-income ratios is zero. This is considered strength because it means that the company isn’t in too much debt. Usually higher ratios indicate possible difficulties in paying interest and principal balances down while obtaining more funding. Another significant ratio that should be mentioned is interest coverage. For Amazon that ratio equals 4.3 which is below the industry average (7.6). This means that the company doesn’t have ability to generate enough income to cover interest expenses. On the other hand eBay’s interest coverage ratio is very high, 127. eBay has great ability to generate enough of income to cover their interest expenses.
  • Another ratio that should be mentioned is receivables turnover. For eBay that ratio is 9.8 close to industry average which means that the company gets their bills paid on time and is able to keep accurate cash level. On the other hand Amazon’s receivables turnover ratio is way above the average and it’s 41.8. That indicates that the company has problems with paying their bills on time and is not able to keep their cash in accurate level. In addition, eBay’s asset turnover ratio of 0.5 low ratio indicates that the firm is not using its assets to their capacity and should increase sales or dispose of some of the assets. On the other hand Amazon’s ratio is higher, it’s 2.6. Higher ratio indicates that the firm is using its assets effectively in generating sales. Their assets are well used to generate revenue. Ebay: Table: #1 Company Industry S&P Liquidity Current Ratio 2.7 2.2 1.5 Quick Ratio 2.2 1.8 1.1 Leverage Debt/Equity Ratio 0.0 0.17 1.21 Interest Coverage 127.4 7.6 3.4 Activity Inventory Turnover N/A 17.3 8.5 Receivables Turnover 9.8 9.9 7.3 Asset Turmover 0.5 0.6 0.3 Profitability Net Profit Margin 23.8 6.4 7.5 Return on Assets 9.7 3.4 2.4 Return On Equity 11.6 5.6 14.2 Return on Capital 11.6 4.7 6.4 Gross Margin 87.1 53.8 47.4 Net Profit Margin (5 yr avg) 20.6 -48.5 5.8 Return On Assets (5 yr avg) 7.8 -22.6 2.0 Return on Equity (5 yr avg) 9.2 N/A 11.9 Gross Margin (5 yr avg) 87.0 54.3 47.4 Market Value EPS Growth (5yr avg) 118.97 N/A 2.18
  • Other (Growth %) Sales (5yr avg) 70.68 12.2 4.64 Dividends ( 5 yr avg) N/A N/A 3.39 Amazon: Table: #2 Company Industry S&P Liquidity Current Ratio 1.6 2.2 1.5 Quick Ratio 1.2 1.8 1.1 Leverage Debt/Equity Ratio N/A 0.2 1.2 Interest Coverage 4.3 7.6 3.4 Activity Inventory Turnover 13.6 17.3 8.5 Receivables Turnover 41.8 9.9 7.3 Asset Turmover 2.6 0.6 0.3 Profitability Net Profit Margin 8.5 6.4 7.5 Return on Assets 18.1 3.4 2.4 Return On Equity N/A 5.6 14.2 Return on Capital 36.1 4.7 6.4 Gross Margin 24.2 53.8 47.4 Net Profit Margin (5 yr avg) -6.8 -48.5 5.8 Return On Assets (5 yr avg) -13.4 -22.6 2.0 Return on Equity (5 yr avg) N/A N/A 11.9 Gross Margin (5 yr avg) 24.9 54.3 47.4 Market Value EPS Growth (5yr avg) N/A N/A 2.2 Other (Growth %) Sales (5yr avg) 30.7 12.2 4.6 Dividends ( 5 yr avg) N/A N/A 3.4 News & Special Issues Important news and special issues will be concentrated on the past 15 weeks, from mid-January to the end of April (this semester).
  • eBAY eBay started off its year with its announcement of a dramatic fee increase for eBay storeowners on the U.S. website. Due to this increase, the number of U.S. stores decreased for the first time in the past 5 quarters. The 2 percent decrease in the number of U.S. stores is in contrast to the 14 percent increase in the number of non-U.S. Stores. On January 17th, shares fell nearly 20% after eBay said it would pay more for advertising in 2005 as the costs of placing. Shares of eBay closed up 2.8 percent at $81.22. In the February month, a lot of events took place. On February 10, 2005, the financial analyst conference was held in San Jose, California, in which the company highlighted the strength and provided a strategy of growth for the business 2005 and beyond. On February 17, 2005, eBay split their stocks. On February 23, 2005, eBay was sued by a California law firm whose clients allege that eBay illegally forced up prices for the items. This was also the same day eBay completed its previously announced acquisition of Rent.com for $415 million plus the cost of acquisition. On February 24, 2005, eBay announced that it had named John Donahoe as President of its eBay Business Unit. John Donahoe is a 23-year veteran of a privately held consulting firm, Bain & Co., and has signed on as president of eBay's Business Unit, a new position that will report directly to CEO Meg Whitman. The President of the company's North American operations and international operations will report to Donahoe. In his new post, Donahoe will serve as mastermind of eBay's global auction and e-commerce. eBay began its March by launching their Internet Classifieds Site on March 9. People have named this venture a “Global Craigslist”. Craigslist is a classified site set up in cities across the U.S. where members of the community can meet, chat, trade, buy,
  • sell goods, and maybe even find love. eBay’s new venture is called Kijiji.com, where “kijiji” means "village" in Swahili. Kijiji lists items in more than 50 cities, ranging from Japan to China to Italy and to Germany. On March 16, 2005, the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors of eBay approved the compensation to be paid to eBay's non-employee directors for 2005. On March 18, 2005, the Federal Court ruled that eBay violated a small company’s E-Commerce Patent. This ruling can radically change the way eBay does business. A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that the e- commerce powerhouse infringed on a patent owned by MercExchange. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said eBay's fixed-price auctions and some of its online payment methods violated a patent obtained by MercExchange Inc., which sued eBay in September 2001. A lower court jury in Virginia ruled in May 2003 that eBay infringed on two MercExchange patents, and a judge ordered the company to pay MercExchange president Thomas Woolston $29.5 million in lost licensing fees and damages. The Washington, D.C., appeals court agreed Wednesday that eBay infringed on the patent involving no-haggle sales but didn’t infringe on the second MercExchange patent. So the ruling could force eBay to pay $25 million in damages instead. Woolston's attorneys said they'd ask for an injunction within several weeks that requires eBay to pay Woolston for use of the patent or stop using online sales techniques that infringe on it. On March 30, 2005, eBay named BBDO as its new marketing agency. BBDO will handle eBay's Internet and direct marketing, as well as U.S. print and television advertising. BBDO replaces eBay's prior agency of record, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, for $250 million. In April, eBay released their first quarter financials on the 21st. The company reported record net revenues of $1.032 billion, up 36% year over year; the results
  • exceeded the estimation of $1.031 billion. Gross profit was $845.4 million, or 82% of net revenues, higher than the 81% reported in 2004. Registered users increased as PayPal grew. On April 20, 2005, eBay launches its first East Europe site, in Poland. Poland is still growing in an emerging economy and eBay hopes to take advantage of that growth. And finally, on April 27, 2005 (yesterday), eBay announced their quarterly earnings. AMAZON Amazon starts off its year in with the introduction of its A9.com Yellow Pages with images venture. In the month of February, Amazon released their Q4-04 earnings on the 2nd. Amazon introduced a new specialty service called Amazon Prime. For a yearly fee, this is the new membership program offers members free 2-day shipping, or overnight shipping on items for a small fee. Earnings rose sharply with net income totaling $347 million, or 82 cents per share, up from $73 million, or 17 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Pro forma earnings were $394 million, or 93 cents per share, up from $125 million, or 29 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Also at the final day of February, Circuit City ended their partnership with Amazon. Circuit City wants to grow their own website so decided to end the partnership. In February, Amazon purchased BookSurge LLC, which has a catalog of books that be printed on demand. On the 19th, Amazon announced that they would be hosting a website for Marks and Spencer clothing apparel and customer services systems. Amazon.com shares fell 89 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $32.11 in morning trading on the NASDAQ. On April 26, 2005, Amazon posted their first quarter earnings. Amazon sales rose 24% from the year-ago quarter to $1.9 billion, in line with analyst estimates. But continued emphasis on low prices and free shipping hurt their profits. Amazon net profit
  • fell to 18 cents a share, or $78 million, from 26 cents, or $111 million. The company said profit included $56 million in income tax expense vs. a $2 million gain in the year-ago period. The company said income from operations fell 2% to $108 million from $110 million. That includes a $14 million charge from its decision to start expensing stock options as of Jan. 1. With that $14 million, operating income would have risen 10%. And the company slightly raised its second-quarter and full-year sales expectations. But analysts and investors continued to focus on the bottom line. Amazon shares were down about 5% after hours.
  • Bibliography Amazon. com’s A9.com Yellow Pages. Retrieved April 20, 2005. http://www.marketwatch.com/news/yhoo/story.asp?source=blq/yhoo&siteid=yho o&dist=yhoo&guid=%7B6BC73691%2D27AC%2D4011%2D885C%2D8F2B6A BD0E43%7D Amazon.com, Marks & Spencer Team Up. Retrieved April 26, 2005. http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/050419/amazon_com_marks_spencer.html?.v=2 . Amazon Gets Flabby Retrieved April 20, 2005. http://yahoo.smartmoney.com/stockwatch/index.cfm?story=20050425&afl=yahoo BBDO named eBay's marketing agency of record in US. Retrieved April 26. http://yahoo.reuters.com/financeQuoteCompanyNewsArticle.jhtml?duid=mtfh402 93_2005-03-30_22-42-30_wen7983_newsml Bezos: Amazon Whets Investor Appetites With 'Amazon Prime' Service, Hot Q4 Earnings. Retrieved April 20, 2005. http://www.forbes.com/facesinthenews/2005/02/02/0202autofacescan09.html?par tner=yahoo&referrer= Circuit City ends Amazon partnership. Retrieved April 20, 2005. http://www.marketwatch.com/news/yhoo/story.asp?source=blq/yhoo&siteid=yho o&dist=yhoo&guid=%7BFFCC78F5%2D4C5E%2D4F96%2DAD48%2D49FA5 63116E6%7D Court: EBay Violated Small Firm's Patent. Retrieved April 20, 2005. http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/050318/ebay_patents_2.html eBay Completes Acquisition of Rent.com. Retrieved April 20, 2005. http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/050223/235913_1.html EBay faces class-action lawsuit. Retrieved April 20, 2005. http://www.marketwatch.com/news/yhoo/story.asp?source=blq/yhoo&siteid=yho o&dist=yhoo&guid=%7B493A6049%2D830A%2D4042%2D8666%2DCC47F6 D49E26%7D eBay Hires Auction Czar. Retrieved April 20, 2005. http://www.thestreet.com/_yahoo/tech/internet/10210474.html?cm_ven=YAHOO &cm_cat=FREE&cm_ite=NA
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