How much is Skype worth?


eBay announced results, and Skype was part of them. Skype revenues have increased 61% year-on-year to reach $126M. Skype added 33M new users for a total of 309M. Skype makes most of its revenue with SkypeOut, where the tariffs barely cover the interconnection costs to finalize the calls in the telco’s networks. So even if revenues grow, the margins are still slim, and there is no outlook that the margin will improve unless there are new (paid) features or the business model changes.

Even if the number of users would grow exponentially, that would also have an impact is cannibalizing SkypeOut, as some users move from traditional phones to Skype, making SkypeOut not required to reach them.

Being optimistic we could forecast net profits in the range of $10-$30M per year, that at a Price-Earning Ratio (PER) of 15 would value Skype at a maximum of $450M.

As a user, Skype rocks. Technically it is superb: very wise P2P concept, high voice quality with bandwidth adaptation, very decent videocalls, IM, file sharing, SkypeOut…  Even with a proprietary technology, non-IMS compliant, it delivers all that IMS promises to deliver. Absolutely great.

But the value to the user is not necessarily related to the market value of the company. eBay is aware of that, and according to GigaOM, expect news over the weekend. TechCrunch predicts that an alliance with Google could be coming.