MercadoLibre (NASDAQ: MELI) and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) are both large-cap retail/wholesale companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings and institutional ownership.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

85.8% of MercadoLibre shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.9% of eBay shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.4% of MercadoLibre shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 6.8% of eBay shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares MercadoLibre and eBay’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
MercadoLibre 13.37% 37.59% 11.81%
eBay 80.93% 17.50% 7.32%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares MercadoLibre and eBay’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
MercadoLibre $1.08 billion 11.77 $249.48 million $3.26 88.34
eBay $9.16 billion 4.48 $2.88 billion $6.62 5.79

eBay has higher revenue and earnings than MercadoLibre. eBay is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than MercadoLibre, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

MercadoLibre pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.2%. eBay does not pay a dividend. MercadoLibre pays out 18.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Risk & Volatility

MercadoLibre has a beta of 2.04, meaning that its share price is 104% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, eBay has a beta of 1.34, meaning that its share price is 34% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for MercadoLibre and eBay, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
MercadoLibre 1 5 6 0 2.42
eBay 2 18 16 0 2.39

MercadoLibre presently has a consensus price target of $261.67, indicating a potential downside of 9.14%. eBay has a consensus price target of $37.38, indicating a potential downside of 2.41%. Given eBay’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe eBay is more favorable than MercadoLibre.

MercadoLibre Company Profile

MercadoLibre, Inc. is an e-commerce company. The Company enables commerce through its marketplace platform in Latin America, which is designed to provide users with a portfolio of services to facilitate commercial transactions. Its geographic segments are Brazil, Argentina, Mexico Venezuela and Other Countries (which includes Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Guatemala, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and the United States of America). It also operates online commerce platforms in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Salvador, Panama, Bolivia, Guatemala, Paraguay and Portugal. It offers an ecosystem of six integrated e-commerce services: the MercadoLibre Marketplace, the MercadoLibre Classifieds Service, the MercadoPago payments solution, the MercadoLibre advertising program, the MercadoShops online Webstores solution and the MercadoEnvios shipping service.

eBay Company Profile

eBay Inc. (eBay) is a commerce company, which operates through its Marketplace, StubHub and Classifieds platforms. The Company connects buyers and sellers around the world. Its platforms enable sellers around the world to organize and offer their inventory for sale, and buyers to find and purchase it. Its platforms are accessible through an online experience (desktop and laptop computers), from mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) and by application programming interface (API) (platform access for third-party software developers). The Company’s Marketplace platforms include its online marketplace located at www.ebay.com, localized counterparts and the eBay mobile applications. The Company’s StubHub platforms include its online ticket platform located at www.stubhub.com, the StubHub mobile applications and Ticketbis. The Company’s Classifieds platforms include a collection of brands, such as Mobile.de, Kijiji, Gumtree, Marktplaats, eBay Kleinanzeigen and others.

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