Oy Vey eBay
Though eBay reported a 29 percent drop in profit for its third quarter Wednesday, the company did deliver revenue that was reasonably higher than Wall Street’s expectations. Not that it mattered much. Investors took eBay out to the woodshed anyway, beating its shares down seven percent in after-hours trading. An unfortunate turn of events considering that eBay’s stock hit a 52-week high earlier in the day.
The online auctioneer reported revenue of $2.23 billion, up six percent from a year ago, while net income fell 29 percent to $350 million or 27 cents per share. Excluding some items, earnings were 38 cents a share. Analysts who follow eBay expected the company to turn in a gain of 37 cents per share on sales of $2.14 billion.
Gross merchandise volume–the value of all goods sold via eBay–rose seven percent from the same period last year. Analysts had believed it would drop between five and 10 percent.
EBay said it sees fourth-quarter earnings of 38 cents to 40 cents a share, on revenue of $2.2 billion to $2.3 billion.
“Our third quarter results were strong, with PayPal gaining momentum and market share worldwide and our core eBay business showing positive trends,” John J. Donahoe, eBay’s chief executive, said in a statement.
NOTES FROM THE EARNINGS CALL
On business overall:
eBay CEO John Donahoe: “These are strong results for a strong company….We’re seeing our turnaround efforts begin to pay off.”
On the economy:
Donahoe: “The economy as we see it is stable, and we’re cautiously optimistic about consumer spending going into the holiday.”
On the Skype lawsuit:
eBay CFO Bob Swan: “We’re highly confident in our position.”