UPDATE 1-EBay website tweaks drive strong holiday sales, shares jump

(Adds forecast, share buyback, stock price)

Jan 31 (Reuters) - EBay Inc posted higher revenue for the key holiday quarter on Wednesday after tweaks to its websites and a focus on marketing drew more shoppers to its marketplaces.

Shares of the San Jose, California-based e-commerce company climbed more than 7 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

EBay has been modifying its platforms including its namesake shopping service to include grouped listings and a simpler payment process to lure shoppers amid stiff competition from Amazon.com Inc.

EBay said its gross merchandise volume the value of all goods sold on its websites rose 9.7 percent to $24.43 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. Sales and marketing expenses rose 13.3 percent to $689 million.

For the quarter ending March, eBay forecast revenue between $2.57 billion and $2.61 billion and adjusted earnings of 52 cents to 54 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 52 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 9.1 percent to $2.61 billion. EBay recorded a $2.6 billion loss for the quarter because of a one-time $3.1 billion charge from the recent changes in U.S. tax laws.

Excluding one-time items, eBay earned 59 cents per share.

EBay also announced a $6 billion share buyback program. (Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Sai Sachin Ravikumar)