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eBay Inc (EBAY), Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), And Mercadolibre Inc (MELI)’s Best Growth Opportunities

Next Monday, Mercadolibre Inc (NASDAQ:MELI) will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they’ll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you’ll be less likely to make an uninformed kneejerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

Latin America has been a huge growth center over the past decade, and Mercadolibre Inc (NASDAQ:MELI) has tapped into the rise of the consumer middle-class with its online marketplace and payment services businesses. Yet, as emerging markets slow down, how will the company keep growing? Let’s take an early look at what’s been happening with Mercadolibre Inc (NASDAQ:MELI) over the past quarter and what we’re likely to see in its quarterly report.

Stats on MercadoLibre

Analyst EPS Estimate $0.54
Change From Year-Ago EPS 20%
Revenue Estimate $97.44 million
Change From Year-Ago Revenue 16.4%
Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters 2

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will MercadoLibre bid higher?
In recent months, analysts haven’t been as optimistic about Mercadolibre Inc (NASDAQ:MELI)’s earnings prospects. They chopped a nickel per share from their first-quarter estimates, and carried most of that reduction through to their full-year 2013 estimates, as well. Yet, that pessimism hasn’t been reflected in the stock’s price, which has climbed 12% since late January.

MercadoLibre closely resembles U.S. counterpart eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) in many ways, not the least of which has been its evolution from an online auction site to a combination marketplace and payment-management business. eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY)’s PayPal has become a huge part of its overall corporate footprint and, arguably, has stronger growth potential than the namesake auction business. MercadoLibre, however, has even greater growth prospects given the slower pace of advancing e-commerce and payment solutions in Latin America thus far.

Moreover, Mercadolibre Inc (NASDAQ:MELI) benefits further from the fact that it has a much stronger competitive position in its market than eBay does domestically. In particular, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has much lower penetration rates in Latin America, with recent estimates suggesting that MercadoLibre has roughly triple the traffic of Amazon there.

But one piece of bad news for MercadoLibre came in February, when Venezuela devalued its currency. Venezuela is the third largest market for the online marketplace provider, and although its losses won’t be as extensive as those that some consumer giants serving the region had to deal with, MercadoLibre can’t afford to lose such an important market, even as its economy faces a potential upheaval.

In Mercadolibre Inc (NASDAQ:MELI)’s quarterly report, look at how the company plans to continue implementing its two-pronged strategic vision. Here in the U.S., Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) have fought largely on the marketplace side, although Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has started looking into payment solutions. With MercadoLibre in the lead, it may choose a different path toward success.

The article MercadoLibre’s Best Growth Opportunities originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Dan Caplinger.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, eBay, and MercadoLibre. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, eBay, and MercadoLibre.

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