VOIP services

Skype Sales Hit $50M

NOON -- For a company still known for enabling free voice calls, Skype Ltd. is on course to generate revenues of around $200 million this calendar year, a run rate that would be the envy of many an equipment vendor.

I base that calculation on the following paragraph, found nestling in Wednesday's third-quarter report from eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY):

    Our Skype business continued to grow at an impressive pace, driven by rapid user growth and continued innovation of Skype’s hardware and software ecosystem. Skype net revenues totaled $50 million in Q3-06, representing a 13% increase from the $44 million reported in Q2-06. Skype had 136 million registered users at the end of Q3-06, representing a 20% increase from the 113 million users at the end of Q2-06. (See eBay Reports Q3.)
In case you've been distracted in the past few years and are wondering where the sales come from, Skype does have a number of revenue-generating services as well as its freebies. (See Skype Adds Payment Option.)

So revenues were up nearly 14 percent and users up 20 percent sequentially. And remember, this is a company that grew on word-of-mouth marketing and offering free calls.

With all that in mind, a comparison with the latest quarter from Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG) is interesting in a number of ways, especially for the poor old Vonage investors who snapped up the stock at $17 for the May IPO, and now can hardly see the $7.65 price through their tears. (See Vonage Misses the Mark and Vonage Gets a Haircut.)

But if we're considering the sensibilities of investors, we should also think of eBay's shareholders, who watched the company shell out $2.6 billion for Skype in September 2005. (See EBay Buys Skype for $2.6B.)

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: I am about to contribute to eBay's fourth-quarter revenues, as any hour now some lucky soul will be the proud new owner of my eldest daughter's now way-too-small-but-still-darling wardrobe, which is currently attracting furious last-minute bidding on eBay's British site. Bid higher, my friends, bid higher…

— Ray Le Maistre, Furniture Sales Editor, Light Reading

Michael Harris 12/5/2012 | 3:37:14 AM
re: Skype Sales Hit $50M Quite a weak showing by the company that was to redefine global communications.

By way of comparison, Time Warner Cable, a U.S. cable operator with a marketable footprint of only 15 million homes for IP phone services, generated over $150M in voice revenue in Q2 -- tripling Skype's Q3 total. Actually, isn't the correct spelling Sk-hype? ;)

Might be fair to conclude that owning the pipe, and controlling the QoS, does in fact have significant economic value.
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