eBay Repatriated a Ton of Cash, Here's Why It Matters: StockTwits

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- eBay (EBAY) has turned into a battleground stock over the last several months.

Carl Icahn even went after the stock. He called for a spinoff of Paypal. 

eBay's stock has been range bound for 1.5 years now. Largely fluctuating between $50 and $60 a share:

$EBAY trading in a 12$ range for 1.5yrs. break below 48 givs much ammo to the split off paypal crowd http://stks.co/b0Um3

- Phil Pearlman (@ppearlman) Apr. 30 at 09:43 AM

But the most interesting thing happening at eBay right now is its announcement to repatriate some of the cash it holds overseas:

$EBAY repatriating cash to increase financial flexibility for "growing opportunities in the US." But not announcing any major deals.

- Ned Graham (@nedgraham) Apr. 29 at 05:23 PM

It's estimated that multinational U.S. companies hold more than $2 trillion in accounts that are maintained in places like the Cayman Islands.

What will eBay do with its cash? No one knows just yet, but it is a development that has to be watched for several reasons. The cash, for example, could be used to fund a major acquisition. The Street's Antoine Gara wrote about some of the possibilities in his post eBay Tax Hit: Ray of Hope or Storm Cloud for Silicon Valley? 

It'll send Silicon Valley into a euphoric frenzy if eBay uses its funds to acquire Pinterest or AirBnB or Square. A development like that would have wide-ranging implications on the entire stock market, too. It would most likely send tech valuations even higher than they are now.

In addition, there's a possibility that eBay's repatriation could serve as a case study for other companies holding cash overseas. Apple and Microsoft are two other tech companies that hold billions in accounts that are overseas. Perhaps, if eBay strategically uses its funds, it will be a cue for other companies to follow suit:

Who will follow $EBAY and repatriate cash? I say $MSFT, with 3/4 of its hoard overseas and a sense of desperation. http://stks.co/r0GhV

- Jeff Reeves (@JeffReevesIP) Apr. 30 at 11:14 AM

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This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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