EBay's Revenues Jump 16 Percent in Q1 With PayPal's Help

Fueled by its PayPal division, eBay reported first quarter results today that exceeded expectations.

Revenues jumped 16 percent to $2.5 billion, compared to the same period a year ago, and profits soared by 20 percent to total $475.9 million, or 36 cents a share.

The results were in line with its internal projections of revenues of up to $2.5 billion and earnings per share of up to 36 cents a share. The company also met or exceeded analysts expectations for the period.

PayPal continues to be an area where eBay sees the most aggressive growth. Net revenues from the company’s marketplaces service increased 12 percent in the first quarter compared to the year-ago quarter, whereas the company’s revenues from payments increased 23 percent in the same time period.

In the earnings call this afternoon, eBay’s President and CEO John Donahoe elaborated on PayPal’s accomplishments. In Q1, PayPal added one million active accounts for the sixth consecutive quarter. The company now expects to achieve 100 million active accounts over the next three months. Additionally, PayPal was just shy of hitting its first billion-dollar quarter, and now represents 39 percent of the company’s total revenues.

The company also confirmed that it is still on track to double eBay’s mobile gross merchandise revenues (excluding vehicles) to $4 billion in 2011 from $2 billion last year.

But consumers aren’t the only ones making purchases. EBay has also been out shopping to fuel its next stage of growth. Last month, eBay agreed to purchase publicly held GSI Commerce for $2.4 billion, the company’s second-largest acquisition ever behind Skype. It also purchased WHERE, a location-based mobile ad network.

In a statement, Donahoe, said: “In the first quarter, PayPal continued to drive strong growth globally, eBay sharply accelerated growth in the U.S. and we announced several acquisitions that we believe will enhance our leadership and innovation in commerce and payments. The year is off to a strong start.”

EBay is not the only one that is gearing up for the next stage of growth. While it’s looking externally for growth drivers, its competitor, Amazon, is growing organically.

Yesterday, Amazon announced its first quarter earnings. Revenues surged by 38 percent compared to the year-ago period, but its net income fell as the giant retailer invested heavily in all sorts of businesses.

EBay’s second-quarter outlook is also strong. The San Jose-based company expects net revenues in the range of $2.55 to $2.65 billion with GAAP earnings in the range of 36 to 37 cents per share. Non-GAAP earnings are forecasted to fall between 45 and 46 cents a share. EBay boosted its full-year guidance. Revenues are now expected to land between $10.6 and $10.9 billion. However, GAAP earnings per share have been revised downward to between $1.53 and $1.58.

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