eBay has used its Q4 earnings investor slideshow to begin making its case that Carl Icahn is wrong to propose splitting off PayPal from the rest of the company.
The context here, as eBay’s Q4 earnings show, is that PayPal is the real economic engine driving the company right now. Although eBay’s auction biz is healthy, payments — and especially mobile payments — are super hot. PayPal revenue was up 19% to $US1.8 billion in Q4, whereas the company as a whole grew only 13% to $US4.5 billion.
Icahn has taken a 0.82% stake in eBay and is demanding two seats on the board prior to breaking up the company.
eBay, however, is countering that it’s already considered and rejected this move; and that the company is best positioned in its current state as a portfolio of units that offer various marketing services (auctions, payments and enterprise marketing solutions). Its board is also just dandy as it is, eBay says.
Here are the anti-Icahn slides in today’s investor deck:
This summary states eBay’s “portfolio” case for keeping the company as one conglomerate:
eBay is proud of its board and doesn’t need Icahn’s people to join it:
A big part of eBay’s argument is that eBay auctions actually fund PayPal’s growth: