NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- They grow up so fast. It was only yesterday -- wasn't it? -- that eBay ( EBAY) was a cute toddler -- doing all sorts of tricks to make the adults laugh.
Everyone liked to pat it on the head and give it a piece of candy, but a big, serious company with earnings and shares and revenues and growth and all those other grown-up things? Not hardly. That was in the late '90s after eBay was founded in 1995. eBay is a teenager now: 17 years old. My, how it has grown. And like an elderly aunt hugging a reluctant nephew, the market has embraced this once unruly child. eBay today has a market cap of $68 billion. That's almost twice the size of General Motors ( GM). Data from Best Stocks Now App Over the last three years, eBay has returned 30% per year to investors. Compare that with the market return of 8.4%. Over the last 12 months, eBay has returned 75%, while the market has returned just 13%. In my Best Stocks Now app, eBay gets a momentum grade of A minus. Sorry about the minus, but remember, we are talking about a large cap stock here. Data from Best Stocks Now App While I like performance and momentum, and all that good stuff, I also like value! So what are we paying for this performance at eBay? Data from Best Stocks Now App Nineteen times forward earnings. That compares with a market average of about 17, so that is what it is. But how about comparing it with Amazon -- the stock everyone likes to put eBay next to: Amazon is selling at 144 times forward earnings. Wow. Don't get me wrong. I like Amazon ( AMZN). It is ranked No. 94 out of the 3,212 stocks I follow. I also own it in the Conservative Growth portfolios I manage. But eBay is much cheaper and has a better chart. It is also ranked -- No. 148 and rising fast! Data from Best Stocks Now App I am also long eBay in the Conservative Growth accounts that I manage at Gunderson Capital Mgt.