Fri, Jan 20, 2012 - Page 10 News List

EBay profit more than tripled in Q4 after Skype sale


Online auction and payments powerhouse eBay said on Wednesday that net profit more than tripled in the fourth quarter in part due to the sale of its remaining stake in Skype.

The San Jose, California-based company posted a fourth-quarter net profit of US$1.98 billion, or US$1.51 per share, compared to US$559 million, or US$0.42 per share, during the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue rose 35 percent to US$3.38 billion in the quarter, better than the US$3.32 billion expected by Wall Street analysts.

EBay said the increase in fourth-quarter earnings was “driven primarily by a gain on the sale of the company’s remaining investment in Skype.”

Ebay’s Skype stake was sold to Microsoft last year for US$8.5 billion.

“We had a strong fourth quarter finish to an excellent year, increasing our confidence in our three-year outlook,” eBay president and chief executive John Donahoe said in a statement.

“We are well-positioned to compete in the emerging new retail environment, and to help retailers of all sizes grow and engage their customers anytime, anywhere,” Donahoe said.

EBay said PayPal had 106.3 million active registered accounts at the end of the fourth quarter, up 13 percent over a year ago, and revenue increased 28 percent to US$1.24 billion.

International revenue at its PayPal unit exceeded revenue from the US during the quarter for the first time ever, eBay said.

Marketplaces revenue was up 16 percent to US$1.77 billion.

EBay said it expected revenue of between US$3.05 billion and US$3.15 billion in the current quarter, slightly below analyst forecasts of US$3.16 billion.

EBay shares were up 2.44 percent at US$31.08 in after-hours trading.

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