EBay posts higher first-quarter net income and revenue

BEATING THE STREET::The firm’s revenue grew 29% to US$3.28bn, beating analysts’ forecasts of US$3.15bn, and it forecasts up to US$3.35bn in second quarter revenue

AP, NEW YORK

Fri, Apr 20, 2012 - Page 10

EBay’s first-quarter net income grew 20 percent thanks to higher revenue from its PayPal business and brisk sales at its e-commerce Web sites. The results beat Wall Street’s expectations and investors sent the company’s stock higher in after-hours trading.

EBay Inc said on Wednesday that it earned US$570 million, or US$0.44 a share, in the January-March period. That is up from US$476 million, or US$0.36 a share, a year ago.

Adjusted earnings of US$0.55 a share beat Wall Street’s estimates by US$0.03.

Revenue grew 29 percent to US$3.28 billion from US$2.55 billion.

Analysts, on average, had expected lower revenue of US$3.15 billion, according to FactSet.

The e-commerce and online payments company has been expanding into brick-and--mortar retailers recently to grow its business. It recently launched a service that lets people use their PayPal accounts to pay for merchandise in Home Depot stores, a program that will likely expand to other large retailers.

Last month, it unveiled a mobile payments service targeting merchants who do not already have full-fledged payment systems in place. Called PayPal Here, the service lets customers pay using credit cards, PayPal accounts or, in the US, personal checks using merchants’ mobile phones.

“We believe that innovation in retail today is technology-driven, and consumers are embracing smarter, easier, better ways to shop,” EBay chief executive John Donahoe said in a statement.

Revenue at PayPal grew 32 percent from last year to US$1.31 billion, while the number of active accounts increased 12 percent to US$109.8 million.

The marketplaces business, which includes EBay’s namesake Web site, grew its revenue by 11 percent to US$1.73 billion.

EBay is forecasting adjusted earnings of US$0.53 to US$0.55 per share and revenue of US$3.25 billion to US$3.35 billion for the second quarter.

San Jose, California-based eBay’s stock climbed US$1.87, or 5.2 percent, to US$37.74 in after-hours trading. The stock had closed down US$0.21 at US$35.87.