RealTime IT News

eBay Committed to Growth, Partners with Key3Media

Auction giant eBay Inc. on Monday held its annual financial analyst conference, reaffirming its aggressive growth targets despite the harsh business climate and its ongoing "Auction for America" -- the online charity initiative that raises funds for Sept. 11th victims, families and communities in lieu of its bottom line.

eBay officials told analysts gathered in Santa Clara, Calif., that it is still holding to its 2005 revenue goal of $3 billion. Additionally, it said it believes net revenues for 2002 should be about $1.05 billion to $1.1 billion, with 2002 pro forma earnings per share coming in between 70 cents and 73 cents per diluted share.

"The depth, breadth and potential of our business gives us great confidence in the future," said Meg Whitman, president and chief executive officer of eBay. "The eBay marketplace is thriving across geographies, trading categories, pricing formats, listed itmes, user growth and the services we offer our community."

However, despite the upbeat meeting, eBay shares slumped in Monday trading.

The company also signed a deal with IT trade show and conference producer Key3Media Group Inc. to promote its growing computer and IT-related businesses at COMDEX and NetWorld+Interop events in North America.

Los Angeles-based Key3Media also will promote eBay's ambitious "Auction for America," a charity effort that allows people to buy and sell goods online to raise money for the victims, families and communities affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Financial arrangements between the companies were not disclosed.

eBay President and CEO Meg Whitman also agreed to address COMDEX Fall 2001 in a keynote talk at the event next month. Whitman will speak on Nov. 14 at noon in the Las Vegas Hilton.

Key3Media said that at COMDEX Fall 2001 (Nov. 10-16) eBay will be promoted throughout the event with eight eBay kiosk stations, event-related print media and links on the comdex.com event Web site.

And sure enough, the site today was featuring a Today in eBay Auctions link.

"eBay has become a leading marketplace for computer and IT buyers and sellers," said Whitman. "Our new relationship with Key3Media provides us with a great way ... to reach the technology industry ..."

"We do not break down the individual categories but it is safe to say that we have seen a gradual increase in the number of IT related items sold on the site during the past year," eBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove told InternetNews.com. "We believe some of the growth can be attributed to the dot.com downturn of the past year. Also, we believe that more businesses are realizing the potential of the eBay marketplace as a viable sales option."

The promotional push for the charity auction certainly will help; eBay said last week that the ambitious auction (with an announced goal of $100 million) had raised $5 million in its first month. The effort is scheduled to end Dec. 25.

-- Thor Olavsrud contributed to this article.