Will eBay (EBAY) Stock be Affected by Questions Over Protection Laws?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- eBay (EBAY) is facing questions regarding its actions under consumer protection laws from the office of New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, The New York Times reports.

The attorney general's office is concerned about eBay's and its soon to be spun off Pay Pal unit's updated user agreement, which says it may contact its 157 million buyers to "collect a debt" or "poll your opinions through surveys or questionnaires" or "contact you with offers and promotions," The Times said.

Shares of eBay are up by 0.36% to $60.69 in mid-morning trading on Thursday.

The agreement will go into effect on Monday and says it will call or text users "at any telephone number that you have provided us" or that eBay has "otherwise obtained."

Law enforcement officials in New York contacted the companies' general counsels this week stating their new policy "raises issues" with consumer protection laws," The Times noted.

"Consumer choice and privacy preferences are protected by state and federal laws - including laws that specifically aim to stop companies from using invasive 'robocalls' to promote products to consumers who do not wish to receive them," a spokeswoman for the Schneiderman's office told The Times.

PayPal released a statement via a blog post saying the new agreement is meant to improve its relationships with customer and that the company has "no intention of harassing you."

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates EBAY INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate EBAY INC (EBAY) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Internet Software & Services industry. The net income increased by 126.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$2,326.00 million to $626.00 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 5.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, EBAY INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: EBAY Ratings Report

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