Remember when eBay was one of the hottest websites on the Internet? Considering what the company has planned, it may be again!
It’s no secret that eBay, the online auction site, has lost some of its luster over the past few years. But their turnaround plan may be starting to take hold.
“I knew the eBay turnaround was going to take over three to four years, and the first 18 months of a turnaround are always the hardest," says CEO John Donahoe.
In fact the former Bain & Co. consultant laid out a long-term plan for the company when he took the helm early last year which included changing your perception about the company.
So forget those images of small mom-and-pop businesses or individuals selling collectibles, eBay is more than that – much more.
The New eBay
A growing amount of eBay's business now comes from large sellers vending brand new products. In fact, the highly popular Buy.com is among the businesses that users may see listing items across the site.
And plans are also in the offing for eBay to work with TigerDirect and SmartBargains. So if you're not comfortable haggling, don't worry. "We’re now half auctions half fixed priced in our core eBay business," Donahoe tells Fast Money.
Is the company moving in the right direction?
Investors think so. Shares are up about 54% year to date. And investors sent eBay shares soaring again on Thursday after the latest earnings showed that although revenue fell -- the rate of decline had slowed. Investors took it to mean the ship was righting itself. "This is good, steady progress," Donahoe says of the second-quarter results.
Your Friend, PayPal
Going forward eBay seems to be banking on Pay-Pal, an online money transfer service which grew 32% in the second quarter. “If Donahoe has his way, PayPal will soon become the way that people pay for everything they buy on the Web or on their mobile phones,”writes the New York Times.
In fact, on Thursday eBay announced plans to open the PayPal platform to developers who want to build applications that use PayPal’s technology.
“No other global payments platform, online or offline, has been able to open up to third-party developers. And the effect on PayPal will be very comparable to the effect on the iPhone — we’ll see the exponential innovation and growth that comes with it as you release the creativity of those developers,” says Donahoe.
Skype Hype & More
Elsewhere in the company, Donahoe appears committed to spinning off Skype in 2010 through an initial public offering after writing down its value by $900 million in 2007. Skype is a software that allows people to make telephone calls over the Internet.
And Donahoe is no stranger to acquisitions. "We bought BillMeLater in the fall as well as Gmarket the leading e-marketplace in Korea." And he tells Fast Money more takeovers could be coming.
"We’ll keep our eyes on open and where we see opportunities that will strengthen our core e-commerce business or our core payments business, we won’t be shy."
What do you think? We want to know!
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Trader disclosure: On July 23rd, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Terranova Owns (MCD), (AXP), (AMZN), (MSFT), (QCOM), (SUN), (FTO), (SU), (GS), (APA), (GOOG), (IBM), (INTC), (XBI), (BNI); Finerman Owns (RIG); Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (NOK), (PBR), (RIG), (WMT); Finerman's Firm Is Short (USO), (IJR), (IYR), (IWM), (MDY), (SPY); Finerman's Firm Owns (WFMI) Calls; Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (BAC) Preferred Shares; Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (WFC) Preferred Shares, Finerman's Firm Is Short (WFC); Grasso Owns (BAC), (BA), (COST), (CSCO), (V), (WMT), (CLF); Grasso's Company Owns (ABT), (MSFT), (GERN), (NYX), (XOM), (SDS); Grasso's Company Is Short (QQQQ)
CNBC.com with wires