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EBay shares soar 7 percent as Icahn takes stake

Activist investor Carl Icahn wants eBay to spin off its PayPal business, but the company doesn't seem to like the idea.

EBay shares soared late Wednesday after Icahn revealed he has stock and derivatives representing 0.82 percent of the company and has nominated two directors to its board.

In after-hours trading, eBay shares were up around 7 percent.

Carl Icahn eyes Ebay Inc.
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Carl Icahn eyes Ebay Inc.

EBay said it "welcomes the opportunity to listen to the perspective of all of its shareholders, including Icahn" but indicated it doesn't agree with him.

In a statement it said, "Payment is part of commerce, and as part of eBay, PayPal drives commerce innovation in payments at global scale, creating value for consumers, merchants and shareholders."

Earlier Wednesday, Apple shares gained after Icahn tweeted that he has continued to add to his position in that company. It is now worth more than $3 billion. Icahn wants Apple's board to greatly increase its stock buyback program.

In its release, Ebay said its board has authorized a $5 billion stock repurchase.

The company earned 81 cents a share in its fourth quarter, beating Wall Street estimates by 1 cent.

Net income increased to $850 million from $751 million. Profits were helped by an increase in transactions paid with its PayPal service.

It expects revenue in its 2015 fiscal year to come in between $20.5 billion and $21.5 billion.

Fourth-quarter revenue of $4.5 billion was just below the consensus forecast of $4.55 billion.

By CNBC.com with contributions by Reuters.

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