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How 4 Big E-Commerce Stocks Stack Up Now

A $46 billion industry offers its report card to investors

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eBay ebay stockEbay (EBAY) described its holiday sales as tepid after releasing its fourth-quarter earnings last week.  Ebay earned $850 million, or 65 cents per share in the fourth quarter, up 13% from $751 million, or 57 cents per share, a year earlier. Adjusted earnings were 81 cents per share, beating analysts’ expectations by a penny. Revenue grew 13% to $4.53 billion from $3.99 billion.

However, mobile commerce grew a whopping 88% or $22 billion for 2013 and added 14 million customers.

The company’s global payment arm PayPal, which comprises 40% of eBay’s total revenue, hit $27 billion for the year. The eBay-PayPal one-two punch is firing on all cylinders with enormous growth potential in upcoming years.  Activist investor Carl Icahn, who owns 0.82% of eBay, is pressing the company to spin off the lucrative PayPal business.

Although growth slowed a bit in 2013, eBay has been maintaining double-digit expansion for the last three years. The $70 billion online retailer is projecting a growth rate of 17%-20% annually for the next five years.

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