I can sum up eBay's third quarter earnings numbers in three little letters: w-o-w! The company reports 41 cents a share versus the 33 cents the Street was expecting. True, the 41 cents includes 4 cents in one-time tax benefits, but even without that, the company still beats by 4 pennies. EBay says the apples to apples though includes that tax benefit so 41 cents is the true comparison.
That great bottom-line news comes without huge growth on the topline, which means eBay is coming up with new ways to generate more profit, and that's a big deal.
But dig a little deeper into the spreadsheet and the good news really shines through. This is a remarkably bullish report. Gross Merchandise Volume, a real weak point last quarter when the company reported its slowest growth in this key metric in its history, grew 14%, hitting $14.4 billion. That compares to the 12% growth the company saw last quarter, so acceleration here is absolutely key in showing some sense of recovery.
PayPal was also another strong performer, showing its best results ever. PayPal's $470 million in revenue was a record, growing 35%, compared to the 31% growth the company saw last quarter. This is a major deal for eBay.