Mike Isaac

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eBay Beats the Street by a Penny — Again

ebay_signFirst look at eBay’s first-quarter earnings, hot off the wire, and they’re not bad at all.

Earnings came in at 63 cents per share on revenue of $3.7 billion, a 14 percent jump compared to the year-ago quarter. That outperforms the Street’s expectations by a penny — just like it did last quarter. Analysts’ estimates pegged this quarter’s earnings at 62 cents per share on revenue of $3.77 billion. Over the same period last year, eBay earned 55 cents a share on $3.28 billion in sales.

“We had a strong first quarter, with accelerating user growth across both Marketplaces and PayPal, and with GSI enabling their retail clients to grow faster than ecommerce,” eBay CEO John Donahoe said in a canned statement. “Technology is creating a commerce revolution, and we are in the forefront with strong mobile leadership and a focus on helping retailers and brands engage consumers anytime, anywhere.”

The company added 2.8 million new accounts over the first quarter through mobile alone, bumping up the company’s payments and Marketplace businesses. In all, the Marketplaces business added another 3.9 million active users over the quarter to reach 116 million, while PayPal tacked on another 5 million accounts to total 128 million active users.

The commerce giant has consistently outperformed expectations over the past year and change, seeing double-digit revenue gains in the last five consecutive quarters. Much of that was attributable to eBay’s fast-growing mobile business, which CEO John Donahoe expects to exceed $20 billion in volume in 2013. And of course PayPal, eBay’s payments processing arm, has grown tremendously in volume of transactions processed over the past few years, and eBay expects that growth to continue.

This quarter indeed saw the PayPal business grow by 18 percent to revenue of $1.5 billion.

Shares of eBay were trading down about 2.5 percent in after hours, at $54.74.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus