Earnings Preview: eBay to post 3Q results

NEW YORK -- EBay Inc. is expected to post profit and revenue growth in the third quarter, helped by PayPal as well as its e-commerce platform, when it reports its financial results after the market closes on Wednesday.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Investors will be looking for signs of further growth in eBay's marketplaces unit, which includes eBay.com and other e-commerce sites, and in PayPal, which processes payments on the Web and has grown quickly in recent quarters. Europe could be a sore spot. In the second quarter, the company said it was able to make up for weakness in the region by strength everywhere else.

The company recently redesigned the eBay.com website, so it could provide an update on how its customers are responding to it. The redesign was aimed to simplify shopping on the site and to encourage people to browse products they might want to buy.

EBay has also been working to expand PayPal beyond the Internet, to brick-and-mortar stores and to mobile devices, so investors may be listening for any updates on this front. Earlier this year, the company unveiled a mobile payments service for merchants, PayPal Here, that lets customers pay using credit cards, PayPal accounts or, in the U.S., personal checks using merchants' mobile phones.

The company could also announce layoffs at its PayPal unit.

WHY IT MATTERS: EBay is one of the world's largest e-commerce companies. The health of its core businesses gives an idea of how overall online and, increasingly, traditional commerce is faring.

WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts, on average, expect earnings of 54 cents per share on revenue of $3.41 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.

LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: The company earned $491 million, or 37 cents per share. Excluding special items, it earned 48 cents per share, which is what analysts polled by FactSet were expecting at the time. Revenue increased 32 percent to $3 billion.