The government shutdown came at a bad time for eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) and other retailers, eBay CEO John Donahoe told The Wall Street Journal, even after the company reported a 15 percent growth in its fiscal third quarter.
eBay shares fell 4 percent in trading on Thursday to close at $51.38 a share, thanks to a weaker outlook for its current quarter.
eBay also said Thursday that it poached Apple's e-commerce executive R.J. Pittman to be its new chief product officer. eBay contends that Pittman's switch to eBay had nothing to with former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts being brought on as Apple's director of retail.
Explaining his holiday concerns Donahoe said that, already, sales for some retailers were soft in the third quarter. "Then, you enter a fourth quarter with massive uncertainty coming out of Washington. The shutdown] makes people a little more tentative about spending. It's not massive, but on the margin, especially people that are trying to make their dollars stretch, they might be a little more conservative," Donahoe said.
Meanwhile, PayPal's revenue hike of 19 percent in the third quarter fueled eBay's 15 percent overall profit. Online payments now make up 42 percent of the company's overall business. eBay's $3.89 billion in sales was slightly lower than analysts' expectations of $3.91 billion.
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