Proving that its third-quarter slip was a mere blip, Gmarket
South Korea's leading online marketplace saw fourth-quarter profits nearly double to $0.26 a share, as revenue climbed 41% to $71.8 million. Earnings came in $0.03 a share ahead of expectations, though the top line clocked in a little short.
Either way, it's a far cry from the respective top- and bottom-line spurts of 26% and 7% with which Gmarket spooked investors three months ago. The company pointed to apparel-specific trends that would spill over favorably into the seasonally spiked fourth quarter -- and it was right.
At least one company means what it says in South Korea. I mention that only because I called out Gmarket rival eBay
"We're pleased about our performance in Korea, where we believe we've significantly narrowed the gap with our main competitor over the last three or four quarters," eBay CFO Bob Swan noted during January's conference call.
He pointed to the company's 33% improvement in gross merchandise value (GMV) in South Korea during the quarter. However, Gmarket's GMV climbed by 42% during the period. Even a mathematically mediocre kindergartner can tell you that the numbers imply a widening -- not narrowing -- gap.
Gmarket, a recent Rule Breakers newsletter recommendation, is making headlines these days. It's one of the ballyhooed Asian investments in Yahoo!'s
As far as foreign marketplaces go, Gmarket may not be growing as quickly as Latin America's MercadoLibre