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video How Top Retailers are Faring on Black Friday

Tickers in this article: AMZN EBAY JCP M

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's Black Friday and the retailers are duking it out for customers' cash. But which purveyor of consumer products will come out a winner?

Amazon  and eBay  are trading higher after initial sales data showed the e-retailers flush with e-commerce traffic over Thanksgiving. ChannelAdvisor, an e-commerce platform provider ran the numbers and found eBay achieved 20.3% same-store sales growth over the year-ago quarter. Amazon, meanwhile, has seen 48.5% year-on-year growth.

"Given that we have six fewer shopping days this year that equates to 20% less days in the holiday, so it is encouraging to see such a spike on Thanksgiving," wrote ChannelAdvisor CEO Scot Wingo in a company blog post.

To the bricks-and-mortar retailers, Belus Capital Advisors CEO Brian Sozzi told Bloomberg the battle for supremacy will be between consistent performer Macy's  and underdog J.C. Penney .

"Those two are totally battling one another right now," he said, appearing on Bloomberg TV. "We've seen JCP come out pretty aggressively in terms of their door busters, they've done decent traffic.

"Macy's is doing what Macy's does best: driving a lot of 50% to 60% off signs and getting traffic on top brands," he added.

During the shortened trading day, eBay gained 2.4% to $50.50, Amazon was up 1.5% to $392.58, J.C. Penney dropped 0.2% to $10.06, and Macy's tumbled 0.7% to $53.17. SPDR S&P Retail ETF remained flat at $88.52.

TheStreet Ratings team rates eBay Inc as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate eBay Inc (EBAY) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, growth in earnings per share and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • EBAY's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Although EBAY's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. To add to this, EBAY has a quick ratio of 1.67, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,334 million or 15.59% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, EBAY INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 23.71%.
  • EBAY INC has improved earnings per share by 17.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, EBAY INC reported lower earnings of $1.99 a share vs. $2.46 a share in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.70 vs. $1.99).