(Reuters) - EBay Inc on Wednesday gave a disappointing holiday forecast, blaming a weaker U.S. macroeconomic environment, sending shares down 4.5 percent in after-hours trading.
The e-commerce company reported a higher third-quarter profit on Wednesday as consumers made greater use of its PayPal service.
But the company said the macroeconomic environment in the United States was weaker, leading it to give a cautious outlook for the current quarter, which includes the crucial holiday season. EBay said the environment in Europe and Asia was mostly stable.
"U.S. e-commerce softened considerably and we have a cautious outlook for the holiday season," Chief Financial Officer Bob Swan told investors on a conference call.
Data firm ShopperTrak has forecast the slowest holiday sales growth since 2009, and last week, September retail sales showed U.S. shoppers were cautious, following a disappointing second quarter for many retailers.
EBay expects revenue of between $4.5 billion and $4.6 billion for the current quarter, ending December 31, compared with the $4.64 billion estimated by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"You could certainly point to consumer confidence that took a beating," said Colin Gillis, a technology analyst with BGC Partners.
U.S. consumer confidence slid last month to its lowest since May, according to a report released in late September by the Conference Board, an industry group.
You have a media effect building right now in favor of retailers providing "surprise results" or confirming the reports with horrid results supported by this lowered outlook as a "tough season." The agenda is set to report holiday sales with a framing of a negative outlook. The only knowledge gained is that sales will be bad, which promotes further support in people buying less and feeling they need to tighten their belts in "this economy." Basically, you have a peripheral persuasive effect that changes behavior and beliefs. Of course, the polls used with consumers do not disclose their questions, which leads to a lacking credible outcome as Qs' framing can allow for a biased outcome, and the reality is that people may still spend and not worry about it.
However, I can foresee a bad season all around for most retailers as they will be forced to offer discounts to make sales, such as GAP does through its stores (Banana Republic being 30-40% off regularly). What does this mean for DECK...weather and overall fashion looks for this Winter will have a lot of influence. DECK will keep its upper-end customers as they generally see little change in buying patterns, but the middle class may see some spending changes.
For weather, here in central NY (West Point), weather is finally going to break below 40 in about a week - a little warmer than normal, but does not mean we don't have harsh change in Nov-Dec-Jan-Feb. Time and mother nature will tell.
I would also like to point out that the demographics of the buyers for most of Decker's products are not going to be as affected as will the lower middle and lower classes. People who have the money in this range are still going to buy their kids things that they want and or need, especially boots and shoes. Even if sales were slightly down come March, I would attribute it more to weather than the nonsense the crooks are trying to spin.
Agreed, but add to that the financial drain of Obamacare which will act like a tax on people. This will drastically reduce what people have to spend. One example is the family in CA which has been on the news channels (they interviewed the man) saying his family health coverage increased by $10,000 per year. Another example, close to home, is my 27 year old son. He has great coverage with a $500 deductible, low co-pays for doctor visits and drugs, and pays $66 per month currently. That's a Blue Cross Policy but it is not grandfathered. When he has to replace it, the same Blue Cross policy will cost him $290 per month. He does qualify for a $36 per month tax credit meaning his increase is ONLY $188 per month. This is repeating itself nationwide and will possible put the US back into recession. In many cases the Obamacare caused premium increases will exceed the income taxes already being paid by these families. Don't underestimate the decline this will cause in purchasing.