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EBay Earnings Top Expectations but Outlook Is Mixed

EBayreported quarterly results that topped analysts' expectations, helped by a gain on the sale of its remaining investment in Skype and 28-percent jump in revenue growth at its PayPal unit. Hower, the online auctioneer's outlook was mixed.

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AP

In the fourth quarter, the companyposted earnings excluding items of 60 cents per share, up from 52 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue was $3.4 billion, an increase from $2.50 billion a year ago.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of 57 cents per share on revenue of $3.32 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Net income jumped to $1.98 billion from $559 million.

PayPal continued to grow: The online-payment system ended the quarter with 106.3 million active registered accounts, up 13% from a year earlier. On average, the company said, PayPal added a million new accounts every month in 2011. Revenue at the unit was up 28 percent.

The company's first-quarter guidance fell short of analysts' expectations but the full-year outlook came in above forecasts.

EBay said it expects first-quarter non-GAAP earnings between 50 and 51 cent a share and revenue between $3.05 and $3.15 billion. The current consensus is for earnings of 54 cents a share on revenue of $3.16 billion.

For the full year, eBay expects non-GAAP earnings of $2.25 to $2.30 a share on revenue of $13.7 billion to $14 billion. Analysts currently peg earnings at $2.31 a share and revenue at $13.63 billion.

After the earnings release, shares of the company were mostly higher. (Click here for the latest after-hour quote.)