eBay Snoring, Skype Roaring

eBay reported its first-quarter earnings today, and there was nothing impressive about the results, especially their core auction-related business. On the other hand, Skype seems to be doing pretty well.

Skype continued its strong growth trajectory, reporting $126 million in revenue for the quarter, representing 61% year-over-year growth. Skype added 33 million registered users in the quarter, ending the period with more than 309 million registered users around the world. Skype now has the largest registered user base within eBay Inc.’s portfolio of businesses.

Those are impressive numbers. For the fourth quarter of 2007, Skype revenues were $115 million and there were more than 276 million registered Skype users around the world. No wonder Skype Journal’s Jim Courtney is able to make the argument: Skype is thriving. What do you guys think?

This morning a lot of analysts are weighing in on eBay’s earnings. I culled out the bits about Skype to share with you folks.

Mark Mahaney of Citi Research writes:

While its Transactions revenue growth rate slowed to 62% Y/Y — down from 80% Y/Y in Q4 — the segment’s usage metrics improved. Key was the acceleration in Skype Out minutes to 1.7B, up 33% Y/Y, vs. up 10% Y/Y in Q4.

And from Ben Schachter at UBS:

And although user growth at Skype is still solid (though decelerating), eBay has yet to drive any meaningful synergies between stand-alone Skype and its core business. Management does plan to test possible synergies more aggressively this year, but time will tell (we are dubious).

Now these are two very fine analysts and I respect them quite a bit, but I think Skype has regained some momentum, despite eBay. (My big piece on what eBay should do with Skype is going to be published over the weekend. Watch out for it. )

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