What is killing the Department Stores?

The real culprit in the death of the Great American Department Stores is changing times. Since there is no way to change that investors should stay away from this sector, perhaps far away.

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eBay is Still a Better Investment than Amazon

There is also one very ugly number in eBay’s financials and that’s cash from operations. Over the course of 2016 the amount of cash flowing through eBay’s till fell by $1.207 billion, and that occurred in eBay’s first year without PayPal.

eBay reported $4.033 in cash from operations at the end of fourth quarter 2015, and $2.826 billion in cash from operations on December 31, 2016. This is worrisome because all the additional revenue growth does not seem to be translating into additional cash.

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Some Earnings Reports I’m Looking Forward To

These are the earnings reports to watch because they will show us what to expect from the entire sector. Massive growth in Amazon’s revenues will indicate that the pain and disruption in brick and mortar retail is far from. Continued revenue growth at PayPal and Facebook will demonstrate that fintech and social media can still pay off.

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Is Etsy Making Money?

Such numbers might be fine for a pre-IPO unicorn, but they’re horrible for a publically traded company. To me at least Etsy looks like a circa 1999 dot.com company that is ready to go crash. All it would take is one negative earnings report or some really bad news to send Etsy spinning into the death spiral.

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Amazon the Growth Continues

Amazon is an incredible success story and a fast growing money machine but it is still a lousy investment. There are better ecommerce stocks out there that cost less and offer better returns.

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Is eBay Relevant Anymore?

Naturally this piques the interest of value investors, if eBay is an unfashionable company that makes money; it meets some classic Ben Graham criteria for a value bargain. That means we will need to ask the all-important question here: is eBay making money?

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