If you want an idea how volatile valuations for Internet companies are, all you have to do is take a look what shares of Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) and eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) have done this month. On March 9, one week after its stock split 3-for-1, eBay was at the tail end of five breakout trading sessions. eBay closed up 21-3/4 to 171 that day, giving it temporary status as the most valuable Web shopping site, with a market cap of more than $20 billion (US$). Amazon.com stock, meanwhile, closed at 122-3/16, giving it a market cap of just less than $20 billion.
Of course, one day later, Amazon.com’s market cap jumped past eBay’s. Since then, Amazon.com has launched an auction house and also bought a 50% stake in Pets.com. Shares of Amazon.com were up more than 10 points, topping 175 in early trading today, while shares of eBay were recovering from a two-day selloff, and up more than 6 points, topping 143. But Amazon.com is way ahead in the battle for market cap now, at more than $28 billion, with eBay hovering around $17 billion.
So let’s recap. On March 9, eBay was worth more than Amazon.com. But now, just three weeks later, Amazon.com is worth over $10 billion more than eBay — certainly an interesting twist and one to watch.