Business, Economics and Jobs

Shares in ecommerce giant eBay soar after quarterly revenue, profit beat analyst expectations


EBay is expanding beyond its online auction site roots.


Dan Kitwood

Shares in eBay soared in after-hours trading today after the ecommerce giant delivered better-than-expected increases in revenue and profit in the first three months of 2012.

First-quarter revenue soared 29 percent year on year to $3.28 billion, beating the average forecast of $3.2 billion, Bloomberg reported.

Profit excluding some items was $725 million, or 55 cents a share, compared with $619 million a year earlier, or 47 cents a share. Analysts had expected profit to be 52 cents a share.

“The first quarter was a strong start to the year for us with momentum continuing in our Marketplaces, PayPal and GSI Commerce businesses," eBay president and chief executive John Donahoe said in a statement filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"We believe that innovation in retail today is technology driven, and consumers are embracing smarter, easier, better ways to shop. We are enabling commerce in this new retail environment, supporting and partnering with sellers of all sizes and giving consumers worldwide the ability to shop anytime, anywhere, for whatever they want.”

An improved forecast for 2012 also helped push eBay's shares more than 6 percent higher to $38 in after-hours trading, Reuters reported.

"It's one of their better reports that I've seen in several years," Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co, told Reuters.

"Both PayPal and the Marketplaces were very healthy in the quarter. It's not every quarter that you see both doing well."

EBay, better known for its online auction website, is pushing into fixed-price marketplaces as it seeks to appeal to a broader range of consumers and compete with online retail giant Amazon.