Consumer spending may continue to languish but considering that retail is moving increasingly towards a mobile commerce format perhaps now is the time to fill your online shopping cart and hit 'checkout'.
*eBay Inc. may be dismissively referred to as the world's 'junk Internet retailer' but it plays in both the business-to-business and the business-to-consumer worlds and online sales are growing at least five times faster than sales at bricks-and-mortar stores. Plus, the San Jose, Calif.-based company more than doubled its second quarter net income largely due to strong revenues coming from its PayPal online payment processor business. Quickly, fetch my mobile wallet.
*Amazon continues to amaze. The online retailer recently posted earnings that fell short of analyst expectations and yet Amazon's stock continues to rise. Though its profits for the second quarter were $7 million, 96 per cent below lower than figures released a year ago and it forecast an operating loss of $350 million for the current quarter, the company is in a growth mode building its network fulfillment centres. Seemingly always focused on the future, willing investors should be prepared to wait for golden days to finally arrive.
*American Express Co., one of the world's largest credit card issuers, saw its second quarter profits beat Wall Street's expectations with net income increasing 3.4 per cent to $1.34 billion, or $1.15 per share. Amex's global card spending rose by 6.7 per cent to $221.6 billion and customer purchases average $3,948 per card, an increase of 4.8 per cent from a year earlier. However, it's worthwhile to mention that U.S. retail sales is where Amex earns two-thirds of its revenue. Still, I've one word for you: plastic!
*OpenTable Inc., the online restaurant reservations manager, saw its second quarter earnings fall by nine per cent as the company invested in sales and marketing while preparing to reboot its site in the U.K. That said, OpenTable raised its per-share earnings for the year to be in the range of $1.54 to $1.66 and it expects revenues of $160 million to $164 million. Challenges lay ahead to be sure, but with a growing North American restaurant base of 18 per cent in 2Q to total 18,373 eateries to complement the 6,664 it has overseas, this company's traffic has steadily increased since it launched in 2009. Investors may wish to book now and avoid being left waiting in line.