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Why eBay Stock Dropped 13% in March

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos – Apr 8, 2020 at 11:18AM

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A new challenge to the management team threatens even more volatility ahead for eBay's business direction.

What happened

eBay (EBAY -0.16%) shareholders pretty much matched the market last month. The stock declined 13% compared to a 12.5% dip in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The decline put shares in negative territory so far in 2020, but the stock is still slightly ahead of the market by being down just 12% to date.

A woman sitting at a table holding her credit card in one hand and a smartphone in the other. A cup of coffee and note pad and pencil are on the table.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

As one of the biggest internet retailers, eBay's business is sensitive to the economic growth slump that has struck most of the world since mid-March due to COVID-19 containment measures. However, investors were just as interested in challenges to the company's business model and executive team.

An activist investor ramped up pressure on the marketplace last month by nominating four candidates for election to the board of directors. eBay has called the move a disappointing distraction at a time when management is focused on guiding the company through the coronavirus pandemic.

Now what

The tech company hasn't scheduled its annual meeting yet, which will be the venue for new elections to the board of directors. That event typically occurs in late May.

If shareholders take the activist investor's side in the board elections, then there will be even more volatility around the direction of this struggling business, which has sold off large portions of itself, drastically changed its capital-return plans, and seen its CEO step down in just the past year.

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends eBay and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $18 calls on eBay and short January 2021 $37 calls on eBay. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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