eBay, a Gusher of Cash, Seems a Rare Find

Your chances of snapping up an undiscovered Rembrandt in an online auction? Not that much lower than those of eBay Inc. lagging behind Wall Street’s consensus estimates on Wednesday, when the company discloses first-quarter results.

Going back through the period before the financial crisis, the e-commerce giant consistently topped the guidance it gave to Wall Street, though that didn’t always translate into a short-term gain for the stock. In the long run, however, eBay has rewarded investors handsomely even after its heady rise during the dot-com boom. Over the past decade, the stock has risen 2½ times faster than the S&P 500.

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