• Profit forecast in the current quarter misses estimates
  • Number of new shoppers was the same as previous period

EBay Inc. shook investor confidence with slow growth in activity across its marketplace and a lackluster forecast, highlighting its ongoing struggle to emerge from the shadow of e-commerce leader Amazon.com Inc.

Initiatives designed to help EBay stand out among online shopping sites had raised expectations with investors, who had pushed the company’s stock up 16 percent in the past three months. But the company on Thursday reported gross merchandise volume, the value of all goods sold, increased 3 percent to $21.5 billion in the second quarter, a marginal gain from 2.4 percent growth in the previous period. Its platforms attracted 2 million new buyers in the period ended June 30 — the same number as the previous quarter — for a total of 171 million global active buyers.

EBay Chief Executive Officer Devin Wenig has committed to a “structured data” initiative with the goals of making it easier to navigate the site’s 1 billion listings, giving EBay more prominent placement in Google searches and providing merchants greater insights about hot-selling products and prices.

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“Investors have been very patient waiting for structured data to have a meaningful impact, and we just haven’t gotten it yet,” said Aaron Turner, an analyst at Wedbush…