EBay shares climb after 'solid' 3Q results

NEW YORK -- Growth in third-quarter profit and revenue drove up shares of eBay Inc. Thursday, although some analysts called the e-commerce company's outlook cautious.

THE SPARK: EBay Inc. reported a 22 percent increase in its net income due to growth at its PayPal payments service and the marketplaces business that includes eBay.com.

CEO John Donahoe expressed cautious optimism about the upcoming holiday shopping season. In the current quarter, eBay expects profit of 66 cents to 69 cents per share, bracketing the 68 cents per share that analysts were expecting.

ANALYSIS: Nomura analyst Brian Nowak, who has a "Buy" rating on eBay, said its PayPal unit is becoming more profitable and the marketplaces division is improving. The company recently redesigned eBay.com to encourage browsing and show more photos.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham called eBay's results impressive and added that the fourth-quarter guidance was "somewhat muted, but likely conservative." He said the company's guidance assumed an "ok" holiday season and weakness in Europe.

SHARE ACTION: San Jose, Calif.-based eBay's stock rose $2.13, or 4.4 percent, to $50.30 in afternoon trading. Earlier, the stock hit $50.65, matching a high in September. That had been its strongest level since late 2004.