EBAY - eBay Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real Time Price. Currency in USD
-0.04 (-0.10%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close40.40
Bid40.34 x 1800
Ask40.36 x 2200
Day's Range40.14 - 40.87
52 Week Range26.01 - 42.00
Avg. Volume7,482,495
Market Cap33.853B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.21
PE Ratio (TTM)15.60
EPS (TTM)2.59
Earnings DateOct 28, 2019 - Nov 1, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield0.56 (1.39%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-08-30
1y Target Est42.21
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Which Silicon Valley companies force workers to give up their right to sue over sexual harassment?
    American City Business Journals

    Which Silicon Valley companies force workers to give up their right to sue over sexual harassment?

    Bay Area activist Shannon Coulter announced the campaign, Force the Issue, on Tuesday in order to pressure 900 large, publicly traded companies to stop requiring their employees to sign off on arbitration clauses agreeing not to sue.

  • Retailers Push Full Steam Into Bumper Holiday Season: 5 Picks

    Retailers Push Full Steam Into Bumper Holiday Season: 5 Picks

    The growth in holiday retail sales bodes well for ecommerce providers like Amazon (AMZN), Walmart, Target, eBay and Etsy.

  • Update: eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) Stock Gained 28% In The Last Three Years
    Simply Wall St.

    Update: eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) Stock Gained 28% In The Last Three Years

    Low-cost index funds make it easy to achieve average market returns. But across the board there are plenty of stocks...

  • Use This Lull to Get in on Shopify Stock for the Long Term

    Use This Lull to Get in on Shopify Stock for the Long Term

    The current mood surrounding Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) is a somber one. Although investors understand why the company is shelling out $450 million to acquire a warehouse-robotics outfit, the news sent SHOP stock sharply lower that day. It's since fallen a total of 17% from its late-August peak. That stumble triggered a technical sell signal in and of itself.Source: Beyond The Scene / Shutterstock.com More of the same may be in store too. Few traders want to catch a falling knife, particularly when that knife has been dropped from a great height as Shopify stock has.Nevertheless, it looks like the selloff has largely run its course. Though the SHOP stock valuation is still outrageous by most any standard, this company really is the long-term threat to Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) it's being made out to be. The bigger it gets, the faster it's going to get bigger.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Shopify Stock Hit by Profit-TakingIt's often compared to Amazon.com, and it's not an unfair comparison. At its core, however, e-commerce newcomer Shopify has earned acclaim by becoming much that Amazon isn't. * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip Namely, the Shopify platform allows its users to control their own storefront, rather than force them to plug into a rigid selling framework where they may have to compete with Shopify itself.To that end, Shopify is a threat to eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY).And yet, Shopify is increasingly looking like Amazon behind-the-scenes. A week ago, the organization announced it would be outright buying 6 River Systems, which develops robotic fulfillment (warehouse and logistics) solutions.Investors who had seemingly remained fans of Shopify through May, when the company announced its purchase of Handshake, balked this time around. However, it's possible the prod for this weakness was tethered more to the market's tide. It's also arguable that the big 245% seen between late last year and August of this year spurred profit-taking.Regardless of the reason, the weakness became self-fueling. SHOP stock broke under its pivotal 10-week moving average line last week, simultaneously snapping straight-line technical support that had been in place since early this year.That breakdown is a common sell signal in and of itself and traders responded in kind.But, nothing lasts forever. While Shopify stock may see more downside from here, the company is no mere flash in the pan. Amazon and eBay both have good reason to be concerned. Shopify Stock Is the Real DealValuation-minded investors are legitimately concerned. Shopify stock is trading at 28 times its trailing twelve-month revenue versus the S&P 500's average of 2.2.Shares are valued at 340 times next year's projected non-GAAP/operating earnings of 97 cents, versus the current marketwide average of 17.0. Never even mind the fact that the company is still bleeding money on a GAAP basis.This is a case, however, where the valuation is the least critical piece of trading information. SHOP stock is a story stock, with all the rights and privileges thereof. The trajectory is the key.That trajectory right now is a steep angle too. This year's revenue is on pace to improve 43.4% year-over-year, while next year's top-line growth is modeled at 34.3%. Though not GAAP numbers, next year's projected earnings of 97 cents per share is a 59% improvement on 2019's expected bottom line of 61 cents per share of SHOP.Perhaps the best argument to own a stake in Shopify, however, is the one that's most difficult to quantify. That is, the bigger it becomes, the easier it becomes for it to grow at an even faster clip.More revenue (and its ensuing cash flow) allows the organization to invest more in its own growth via deals like Handshake and buying 6 River Systems.Canaccord's analysts may have said it best in June, after the Handshake deal but before the 6 River Systems deal, noting"\:"In our view, Shopify is getting to point at which breadth of product, vibrancy of partner ecosystem, and general retail scale will enable the firm to pull away at an exponential pace."That pace has already put Shopify on a trajectory to become bigger than eBay this year, as measured by the amount of merchandise volume handled. Bottom Line on Shopify StockThat optimism certainly won't stave off a near-term selloff. Indeed, given the sheer scope and speed of the gain that took shape during the first eight months of the year, at least a little more selling could be expected from current levels.We're also at a time of year that's tough for stocks anyway, especially when it's the third year of a presidential term.Don't let the short-term turbulence distract you from the long-term story though. It could take years to fully establish a complete warehouse network that utilizes 6 River Systems' technology, just as it took years for Amazon to build its own warehouse-automation solutions.It'll be worth the wait though, and the company will certainly improve its offering in other ways in the meantime. The market's more than apt to reward incremental progress between then and now, given the strength of the back-story.Just be patient with any entry, and bear in mind one doesn't have to find the exact bottom to still make good money.As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can learn more about him at his website jamesbrumley.com, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip * 7 Dow Titans Breaking Higher * 5 Growth Stocks to Sell as Rates Move Higher The post Use This Lull to Get in on Shopify Stock for the Long Term appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Is eBay (EBAY) Stock Outpacing Its Retail-Wholesale Peers This Year?

    Is eBay (EBAY) Stock Outpacing Its Retail-Wholesale Peers This Year?

    Is (EBAY) Outperforming Other Retail-Wholesale Stocks This Year?

  • PayPal Stock Bounce Tied To New E-Commerce Partners, As EBay Goes Away
    Investor's Business Daily

    PayPal Stock Bounce Tied To New E-Commerce Partners, As EBay Goes Away

    PayPal will be a stronger by forming partnerships with new e-commerce platforms as its financial ties to former parent eBay wind down, one analyst says. PayPal stock has consolidated.

  • Dow Jones Giant Walmart, Lululemon Lead 5 Top Stocks Near Buy Points
    Investor's Business Daily

    Dow Jones Giant Walmart, Lululemon Lead 5 Top Stocks Near Buy Points

    Dow Jones giant Walmart and Lululemon Athletica are in buy zones, while TJX, eBay and Zumiez are just below buys as retail stocks lead.

  • Director of the year: Dawn Lepore's best advice came from Walmart's Rob Walton
    American City Business Journals

    Director of the year: Dawn Lepore's best advice came from Walmart's Rob Walton

    She is one of eight people who will be recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal at the third annual Director of the Year Gala on Sept. 12 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle.

  • 3 Reasons Amazon Stock Was Down in August

    3 Reasons Amazon Stock Was Down in August

    Shares of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) were up roughly 6% after market close on Wednesday. But not everything has been so glamrous for AMZN stock, especially in August 2019.Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsAmazon shares fell substantially toward the end of July and then were up and down for the majority of August. With all of that in mind, here are three reasons why AMZN was down last month. AMZN Dealt With an Earnings MissAmazon announced its second-quarter earnings toward the end of July and in some areas, they were in line with what investors expected. The company's growth and revenue were up and Prime memberships are increasing at a steady pace.However, Amazon's earnings fell short of expectations, mostly due to the $800 million the company invested in one-day shipping for Prime members. Still, investors were expecting $5.57 per share, so with the actual earnings at $5.22 per share, the company fell short by quite a bit. Amazon Web Services also missed after several quarters of strong growth. The company's digital ad business slowed as well. Increased CompetitionAmazon, Walmart (NASDAQ:WMT) and Target (NASDAQ:TGT) are engaged in a fierce battle to see who can gain retail market share. It's hard to match Amazon's level of convenience but the other two stores are doing their best. * 10 Battered Tech Stocks to Buy Now Walmart is working hard to match Amazon's one-day shipping guarantee and both companies have improved their online delivery and in-store pickup features. Walmart and Target even offered sales to try to compete with Prime Day back in July. Some of these efforts were successful and both companies managed to steal customers from AMZN.Most recently, Walmart and Target have been capturing the majority of back-to-school sales. Turns out, most parents would rather visit a brick-and-mortar store than do their back-to-school shopping online. A Promocodes.com survey found that Walmart was the No. 1 choice for back-to-school shopping; 38% of shoppers visited Walmart, 26% went to Target and 19% used Amazon. The Company Is Struggling With Its Third-Party SellersA couple of weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Amazon currently hosts thousands of unsafe or incorrectly labeled products on its site. Most of these are offered by third-party sellers and the items offered could be anything from children's toys to medications. This happened because AMZN supposedly regains very little control over its third-party sellers. The Journal documented more than 4,000 products that were misleading, unsafe or even banned. This is a common problem for sites hosting third-party sellers. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) both dealt with these same types of issues. However, Amazon did respond with a blog post outlining its compliance program for sellers. Amazon Stock Should Be Just FineDespite the company's rocky couple months, analysts are enthusiastic when it comes to AMZN stock. The 29 analysts reviewing the stock gave it a buy rating and the overall consensus is that the stock has much more room to grow. As of this writing, Jamie Johnson did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Battered Tech Stocks to Buy Now * 7 Strong-Buy Stocks Hedge Funds Are Buying Now * The 7 Best Penny Stocks to Buy The post 3 Reasons Amazon Stock Was Down in August appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Director of the year: Committing to board is like a marriage, Adriane Brown says
    American City Business Journals

    Director of the year: Committing to board is like a marriage, Adriane Brown says

    She is one of eight people who will be recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal at the third annual Director of the Year Gala on Sept. 12.

  • Benzinga

    Shopify Will Acquire 6 River Systems For $450 million

    Shopify (NYSE: SHOP), which offers commerce platforms for both traditional and e-commerce retailers, will acquire 6 River Systems as a means to increase fulfillment efficiency in Shopify warehouses. The acquisition comes three months after Shopify announced its Shopify Fulfillment Network–a powerful effort to promise timely deliveries, excellent customer service, and low shipping costs.

  • American City Business Journals

    5 interesting patents eBay applied for this week, from home furnishing recommendations to personalized pricing

    Some of the patents — like a system to recommend home furnishings based on an image of a room — seem intuitive for the company as it operates today. But others, like a device to process audio in real time, appear to depart from the company’s current business.

  • Amazon Probed by U.S. Antitrust Officials Over Marketplace

    Amazon Probed by U.S. Antitrust Officials Over Marketplace

    (Bloomberg) -- A team of Federal Trade Commission investigators has begun interviewing small businesses that sell products on Amazon.com Inc. to determine whether the e-commerce giant is using its market power to hurt competition.Several attorneys and at least one economist have been conducting interviews that typically last about 90 minutes and cover a range of topics, according to three merchants. All were asked what percentage of revenue their businesses derive from Amazon versus other online marketplaces like Walmart Inc. and EBay Inc., suggesting regulators are skeptical about Amazon’s claims that shoppers and suppliers have real alternatives to the Seattle-based company. One merchant, Jaivin Karnani, said he was surprised the FTC returned his call the very next day. The interviews indicate the agency is in the early stages of a sweeping probe to learn how Amazon works, spot practices that break the law and identify markets dominated by the company. The length of the interviews and the manpower devoted to examining Amazon point to a serious inquiry rather than investigators merely responding to complaints and going through the motions, antitrust experts say.Amazon shares fell less than 1% to $1,812 at 9:36 a.m. in New York.“Early in an investigation, that’s a sign of staff doing a serious job,” said Michael Kades, who spent 20 years at the FTC. “They’re spending lots of time with witnesses and trying to really understand what they’re saying.”Amazon hasn’t disclosed an investigation by the FTC, and the agency rarely confirms scrutiny of individual companies. But Chairman Joe Simons told Bloomberg in August that he welcomed hearing from third-party merchants, who now sell more than half of products on Amazon. Such private conversations are likely to yield far more insights into Amazon’s business than the public grilling of tech executives by Congressional committees.Amazon declined to comment and pointed to a statement Consumer Business chief Jeff Wilke made in June when asked about reports that the FTC was looking into Amazon. ”We believe that most substantial entities in the economy deserve scrutiny,” he said. “Our job is to build the kind of company that passes that scrutiny with flying colors.” The FTC declined to comment. The probe is part of a broader examination of the control companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook have over the U.S. economy. The FTC is also investigating Facebook while the Justice Department is probing Google. Separately, 50 state attorneys general have announced an antitrust probe of Google. The House Judiciary Committee is also probing big technology companies. One area of interest is whether Amazon has an unfair advantage over third party merchants when it competes with them to sell similar products on its own platform.A key early task for the FTC is defining Amazon’s competitive universe. The company has long argued that it should be considered a retailer that competes against rivals online and offline, a designation that Amazon says gives it a meager 4% share of the U.S. retail market. If Amazon’s market is narrowly defined as online shopping, its share rises to almost 40%—giving it significant leverage. Narrowing the market by product category, such as electronic books, gives Amazon even more dominance.The FTC is also seeking to determine the extent of Amazon’s power over its suppliers. All three merchants fielded questions on how much of their revenue comes from Amazon compared with other online platforms. Many sellers get 90% or more of their sales from Amazon, making them vulnerable to the company’s demands and abrupt, unexplained changes in its policy.FTC investigators examining Amazon likely want to move quickly to make sure states or other agencies don’t get ahead of them, said Jennifer Rie, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence who specializes in antitrust litigation. The investigators start by learning the inner workings of the company before narrowing their inquiry.“They’re trying to learn as much as they can about the industry from people who aren’t the target of their investigation,” Rie said. “They’re in a background phase.”The FTC’s interest in Amazon is spreading to sellers via word-of-mouth. Some merchants fear incurring Amazon’s wrath by cooperating with the agency. One who spoke with an FTC attorney said he was assured the conversation would be confidential unless it led to an official complaint against Amazon or the transcript was subpoenaed by Congress.“These conversations are going to keep happening,” said Chris McCabe, a former Amazon employee who now runs a business helping Amazon merchants. “I’ve had several people ask me how to go to the FTC. I give them an email, and the FTC is taking their calls.”Desperation prompted merchant Karnani to contact the agency to report his difficulties selling video games and electronics on the site. Karnani told investigators he lost 10% of his sales after Apple and Amazon reached an agreement last year to limit who could sell Apple products on the site. The change followed years of concern about counterfeit iPhone accessories. He also described account suspensions in recent months during which Amazon hung on to his inventory and money.“I told them if Amazon suspends you, it’s like a death knell,” said Karnani, who has been selling on the site for two years. “I told them when Amazon shuts you off, they sit on your money for 90 days and there’s nothing you can do. They were surprised about that.”Merchants can appeal suspensions. But even if they prevail, it’s a guilty-until-proven-innocent process that can cut off their sales for weeks without warning, potentially putting them out of business. Amazon in August instituted a new 30-day-notice policy regarding suspensions to appease regulators in Germany, who maintained the process was unfair because it wasn’t transparent. In an emailed statement, an Amazon spokesperson said: “We have an appeals process where sellers can explain how they will prevent the violation from happening in the future or let us know if they believe they were compliant.”Molson Hart, who sells toys on Amazon through his company Viahart, said he spoke with the FTC for 90 minutes about an article he posted on Medium detailing how 98% of his sales come from Amazon and that other platforms like EBay and Walmart account for less than 2% of revenue. He declined to discuss specifics of his conversation with FTC investigators but said the conversation focused on his Medium article. It argued that Amazon, which faces little competition online, has been raising fees and selling advertising—forcing merchants to raise prices.Another Amazon merchant, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he spent about 90 minutes on the phone with an FTC investigator in July and has since provided the agency with documents and data.He described helping triple sales of a health and beauty brand by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to advertise on the site. Amazon noticed, placed its own wholesale orders with the brand and sold the product directly, cutting him out and sticking him with hundreds of thousands of dollars in unsold inventory. Another time, he told investigators, Amazon discovered one of his products being sold for less at Walmart.com and then made the item less visible to shoppers until the Walmart price went back up.If merchants are so reliant on Amazon for sales that they are unwilling to offer better prices on other platforms like Walmart and EBay, that can hurt competition, said Diana Moss, president of the American Antitrust Institute, a nonprofit that advocates for aggressive antitrust enforcement.  “That really is the central question in an inquiry like this, and that's why Amazon downplays its market power.”To contact the authors of this story: Spencer Soper in Seattle at ssoper@bloomberg.netBen Brody in Washington at btenerellabr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net, Emily BiusoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • GuruFocus.com

    Maverick Risk

    As contrarians running a large-cap value strategy, our stock-picking discipline is organized around taking regular maverick risk on companies that meet our 8 criteria Continue reading...

  • Barrons.com

    MercadoLibre, the eBay of Latin America, Can Weather Argentina’s Economy, Analyst Says

    Shares have fallen more than 17% since mid-August’s Argentinian primary election results and that decline represents a good entry point for investors, BTIG’s Marvin Fong said in a note to clients late Monday upgrading the stock of the Latin American e-commerce giant to Buy from Neutral.

  • Shopify Buys 6 River, Threatens Amazon's Warehouse Tech Lead

    Shopify Buys 6 River, Threatens Amazon's Warehouse Tech Lead

    Shopify's (SHOP) acquisition of 6 River Systems is expected to boost its competitive position in the fulfillment network space dominated by Amazon.

  • Jack Ma Ends 20-Year Reign Over Alibaba Wealth Creation Empire

    Jack Ma Ends 20-Year Reign Over Alibaba Wealth Creation Empire

    (Bloomberg) -- Jack Ma is giving up the reins of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. after presiding over one of the most spectacular creations of wealth the world has ever seen.The former English teacher steps down as executive chairman of China’s largest company on his 55th birthday after amassing a $41.8 billion fortune -- a trove surpassed only by India’s Mukesh Ambani in Asia, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His record-breaking rise from a bootstrapped entrepreneur working out of his apartment in 1999 to jet-setting e-commerce mogul is one for the history books, mirroring China’s own evolution from technological backwater to world’s No. 2 economy.Over two decades, Ma and his co-founders built a business-to-business marketplace into a $460 billion titan that bested EBay Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., operates one of the world’s largest cloud computing businesses, and runs a logistics network that delivers millions of parcels every day. Now the country’s most recognizable businessman, he hands the helm on Tuesday to finance maven Daniel Zhang -- a momentous transition for Asia’s largest corporation.Read more: New Alibaba Chief Explains Why He Wants to Kill His Own BusinessMa became Asia’s richest person in 2016, overtaking Dalian Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin. The title now belongs to Reliance Industries Ltd. Chairman Ambani, who’s worth $47.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest individuals.The Alibaba co-founder has become the face of Chinese business even while a member of the ruling Communist Party. Ma, who recalled in a 2015 interview how KFC once rejected his job application, currently owns a 5.3% Alibaba stake worth $24.6 billion, or about 10-fold the $2.6 billion his 7.4% slice in 2012 was worth. Since taking over as executive chairman in 2013, Alibaba’s revenue has surged about 1,100% to 378.8 billion yuan ($56.2 billion) in the year ended March 2019. His fortune doesn’t count shares in the company held by his foundation, or the value of stock he’s sold over time.Ma isn’t the only person to derive fabulous wealth from the Alibaba empire. The company’s trajectory at one point spawned at least 10 other billionaires across its ecosystem, from a parcel delivery company and supermarket to an online payments affiliate. Despite stepping down, Ma is expected to remain pivotal to a sprawling industrial machine with e-commerce at its heart.“At this point, it’s still unlikely that Zhang would make important decisions without Ma’s support,” said Brock Silvers, managing director at Shanghai-based Kaiyuan Capital, an investment advisory firm.Read more: Alibaba’s rise creates 10 billionaires not named Jack Ma\--With assistance from Pei Yi Mak.To contact the reporter on this story: Venus Feng in Hong Kong at vfeng7@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at ppaulden@bloomberg.net, ;Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Peter Eichenbaum, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Is Amazon Losing Control of Its Platform?
    Motley Fool

    Is Amazon Losing Control of Its Platform?

    Just as social media sites have struggled to limit misinformation on public platforms, the e-commerce giant has been ineffective in its handling of third-party sellers.

  • How Are eBay And Amazon Different?

    How Are eBay And Amazon Different?

    Learn how eBay differs from Amazon in the e-commerce environment for both buyers and sellers, and understand why each operates under a specific model.

  • Elliott’s $3.2 Billion AT&T Bet Signals ‘There Will Be a Fight’

    Elliott’s $3.2 Billion AT&T Bet Signals ‘There Will Be a Fight’

    (Bloomberg) -- AT&T Inc.’s sweeping transformation from Ma Bell to a multimedia titan has gone both too far and not far enough for Elliott Management Corp.Billionaire Paul Singer’s New York hedge fund disclosed a new $3.2 billion position in AT&T, taking on one of the nation’s biggest and most widely held companies with a plan to boost its share price by more than 50% through asset sales and cost cutting.Investors applauded the development, briefly sending AT&T shares on their biggest intraday rally in more than a decade.For Singer, the move represents one of the biggest bets in the four decades since the hard-driving activist investor founded his firm. And it strikes at the core of the way AT&T has built its bigger-is-better empire: a costly M&A binge that has turned the carrier into one of the most indebted companies on Earth.“There will be a fight,” said Chetan Sharma, a wireless-industry analyst.Elliott outlined a four-part plan for the company in a letter to its board Monday. The proposal calls for the company to explore divesting assets, including satellite-TV provider DirecTV, the Mexican wireless operations, pieces of the landline business, and others.It urges AT&T, led by Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson, to exit businesses that don’t fit its strategy, run a more efficient operation and stop making major acquisitions. Elliott said it would also recommend candidates to add to AT&T’s board.In response, AT&T said it would review Elliott’s recommendations and said many of them are “ones we are already executing today.”The telecom giant said its strategy is “driven by the unique portfolio of valuable businesses we’ve assembled across communications networks and media and entertainment, and as Elliott points out, is the foundation for significant value creation.”The carrier said it believes that “growing and investing in these businesses is the best path forward for our company and our shareholders.”Still, investors seem to think Elliott’s plan could wring more value from AT&T. The shares surged as much as 5.2% to $38.14 in New York trading Monday. That was the biggest intraday jump since March 2009 and put them at their highest level since February of last year. They later settled down to a 2.7% gain amid a broader pullback in the market.Elliott said the investment -- among its largest to date -- was made because the company is deeply undervalued after a period of “prolonged and substantial underperformance.” It argued this has been marked by its shares lagging the broader S&P 500 over the past decade.It pointed to a series of strategic setbacks, including $200 billion in acquisitions, the “most damaging” of which was its $39 billion attempted purchase of T-Mobile US Inc. That deal resulted in the largest breakup fee of all time when the government blocked it in 2011 -- about $6 billion in cash and assets.“In addition to the internal and external distractions it caused itself, AT&T’s failed takeover capitalized a viable competitor for years to come,” Elliott said.The hedge fund also slammed the subsequent acquisitions of DirecTV and media giant Time Warner Inc. That puts particular pressure on Stephenson, 59, who oversaw the deals Elliott criticized in the letter.But, while the position in AT&T is large, Elliott may have a difficult time pushing for change unless it gets other investors to back its stance. Its newly disclosed stake in AT&T represents just about 1.2% of the company’s total market value.Elliott’s plan also calls for aggressive cost-cutting measures that aim to improve AT&T’s margins by 3 percentage points by 2022. Those margins have come under pressure amid cord cutting in video and widespread discounting in wireless, and Elliott said competitors like Verizon Communications Inc. have done a better job addressing those headwinds.Elliott said in the letter it has identified opportunities for savings in excess of $10 billion, but the plan would only require cost cuts of $5 billion.Elliott is also calling for a series of governance changes, including separating the roles of CEO and chairman -- currently held by Stephenson -- and the formation of a strategic review committee to identify the opportunities at hand.Transformative DealsWith a series of deals over the past several years, AT&T has transformed itself from a traditional telecom company into a multimedia behemoth. The company bought satellite-TV provider DirecTV for $67 billion in 2015, leaping into first place among U.S. pay-TV companies. Elliott criticized that deal in its letter as having come “at the absolute peak of the linear TV market.”AT&T then moved firmly into entertainment and media with the $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner in 2018. That deal brought marquee assets such as HBO, CNN and Warner Bros.“Despite nearly 600 days passing between signing and closing (and more than a year passing since), AT&T has yet to articulate a clear strategic rationale for why AT&T needs to own Time Warner,” Jesse Cohn, a partner at Elliott, and Marc Steinberg, an associate portfolio manager, said in the letter. “While it is too soon to tell whether AT&T can create value with Time Warner, we remain cautious on the benefits of this combination.”High-Profile FightsElliott has a history of tackling some of the biggest and most high-profile companies around the globe, including EBay Inc., Pernod Ricard SA, and Bayer AG in the past year alone. The AT&T investment marks Elliott’s single largest equity investment with an activist slant.It’s not the first time Elliott has taken on a major telecommunications company, either. The hedge fund battled Vivendi SA for control of the board of Telecom Italia SpA, eventually winning control in 2018 in a fight that dragged on into this year.Those battles don’t always end in success. In Elliott’s proxy fight at Hyundai Motor Group earlier this year, investors opted not to elect its slate of directors at two of the South Korean manufacturer’s subsidiaries. But even in some of its major losses, like at Samsung Electronics Co., the repercussion of its agitations can send ripples beyond the proxy clash.Samsung managed to keep Elliott at bay in 2015 but touched off a series of events that resulted in a brief jail term for the electronics giant’s billionaire heir apparent for influence peddling, protests by hundreds of thousands of people in Seoul, and the downfall and imprisonment of South Korea’s president, Park Geun-hye.Heavy DebtAT&T is the most indebted company in the world -- not counting financial firms and government-backed entities -- with $194 billion in total debt as of June, a legacy of Stephenson’s steady clip of large acquisitions. The CEO used to keep a spreadsheet of a few dozen companies that he studies on his tablet to plan his next big deal, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in 2016.The stock is among the top 20 most widely held U.S.-traded companies among institutional investors, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s partially because of its steady dividend, which totaled $2.04 a share last year, giving investors a reliable payout in good times and bad.What Bloomberg Intelligence Says“AT&T will likely be under greater pressure to streamline operations and wring better performance out of Time Warner following the involvement of activist investor Elliott Management, yet this probably won’t prompt a change in company strategy. ... Elliott’s recommendation to spin off the DirecTV satellite business isn’t practical, in our view, as AT&T likely needs its free cash to help fund its dividend.”\-- John Butler, senior telecom analyst, and Boyoung Kim, associate analystClick here to view the research.Phone companies have also traditionally been considered a safety net for investors in bad economic times because people still need to communicate, though AT&T’s exposure to the landline business has more recently been a drag on profits because more people are shutting off their home phones and going wireless-only.Elliott’s move also put AT&T back in the cross hairs of one of its biggest critics: Donald Trump.The president, whose Justice Department unsuccessfully opposed AT&T’s Time Warner acquisition and who has slammed CNN’s coverage of him, cheered on Elliott’s efforts.“Great news that an activist investor is now involved with AT&T,” he tweeted.\--With assistance from Olga Kharif.To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Deveau in New York at sdeveau2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Liana Baker at lbaker75@bloomberg.net, Nick Turner, John J. Edwards IIIFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Benzinga

    Bulls And Bears Of The Week: Beyond Meat, eBay, GE, Uber And More

    Benzinga has examined the prospects for many investor favorite stocks over the past week. Bullish calls included what may be a couple of surprises this past week. Bearish calls included a few recent IPOs ...

  • 'Used Nation' Shakes Up Retail Industry With Digital Thrift
    Investor's Business Daily

    'Used Nation' Shakes Up Retail Industry With Digital Thrift

    More consumers actually prefer buying — or even renting — used clothing from RealReal and other retail industry disrupters.

  • Paypal Co-Founder Max Levchin is ‘always very bullish’ on financial services startups
    Yahoo Finance

    Paypal Co-Founder Max Levchin is ‘always very bullish’ on financial services startups

    "That little thing is broken, and it could really use some fixing, it is inevitably measured in hundreds of millions of dollars.”

  • Benzinga

    UBS Downgrades eBay, Citing Full Valuation

    Shares of eBay Inc (NASDAQ: EBAY ) have gained more than 40% since the start of 2019 and now properly reflect the value of its assets, according to UBS. The Analyst UBS analyst Eric Sheridan downgraded ...

  • Benzinga

    Report: 3 Suitors Eyeing eBay's StubHub Platform

    Online auction site eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY )-owned ticket resale platform StubHub is drawing interest from Vivid Seats and KKR & Co., Bloomberg reported Tuesday , citing people familiar with the matter.  ...