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EBay has a cold: CEO blames negative outlook on sickness

John Donahoe, CEO, EBay
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Don't mind the negative outlook on e-commerce from eBay CFO Bob Swan. He has a cold.

After Swan told analysts during an earnings call Wednesday that the U.S. e-commerce market had "softened considerably" and that eBay was cautious about the upcoming holiday season, CEO John Donahoe went into damage control mode, blaming the negative outlook on sickness, AllThingsD reported.

"The truth is Bob and I both have colds," Donahoe told the website. "I think it came across as more negative than intended."

EBay had a mixed third quarter, but saw its stock price slip 5 percent after the market closed Wednesday following Swan's statement to analysts that e-commerce was "dramatically decelerating," AllThingsD said.

Later that evening, Donahoe tried to backtrack a bit, but still explained why eBay was cautious about the holiday season.

"I don't think we're seeing anything different than others are seeing; we just report first," he told AllThingsD.

EBay's stock made up ground Friday, gaining nearly 2% to push back over $52.

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