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Searching for Upside on eBay

eBay's (EBAY - Get Report) star may have waned during the recession, but the online auction site could still offer some upside when it reports its second-quarter results after market close.

With rival Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) reporting its own second-quarter results later this week, the spotlight is on online retail, which has certainly felt the effectsof the economic slowdown.

Whereas Amazon appears to have weathered the worst of the economic storm, eBay has taken a pounding. During the first quarter, eBay's sales dipped more than $171 million year over year to $2.02 billion. The company partly blamed weakness in its core Marketplaces business for the slump, although the strong dollar and tough macroeconomic conditions hardly helped.

Marketplaces, which includes eBay, Shopping.com, StubHub, Kijiji and a number of other e-commerce sites, saw revenue plummet 18% compared to the prior year's quarter. eBay's PayPal and Skype businesses were much healthier, though, and the firm predicted second-quarter revenue between $1.85 billion and $2.05 billion. Excluding charges, the firm expects earnings between 34 cents a share and 36 cents a share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters are looking for the auction site to report revenue of $1.99 billion and earnings of 36 cents a share. Even if eBay posts these numbers, however, it would still mark the company's third consecutive quarter of negative growth. But there could be still be some positives for investors.

The buzz that once surrounded eBay may have now faded, but at least one analyst is expecting to see some good things from the San Jose, Calif.-based firm.
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