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EBay Shares Take Hit as Profit Outlook Disappoints

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AP

EBay turned in a fourth-quarter outlook that disappointed investors on Wednesday, pummeling shares in late trading, even though the company slightly beat its third quarter earnings forecast.

The company announced a fourth quarter EPS range of 38 to 40 cents, while Wall Street was hoping for 40 cents.

EBay shares fell almost 6 percent in extended trading Wednesday. They closed at $24.92 on the Nasdaq.

Video: CNBC's Jim Goldman discusses EBay's disappointing guidance.

Excluding one-time items, the online auction site earned 38 cents in its third quarter on sales of $2.24 billion, compared with 46 cents a share on sales of $2.19 billion in the same period last year.

Analysts who follow eBay expected the company to turn in a gain of 37 cents a shares on sales of $2.14 billion, according to a consensus from Thomson Reuters.

The company announced that its PayPal unit continued to perform well. Its revenue contribution was up 15 percent, which was better than the 10 percent that Wall Street had expected.

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Additionally, its communications unit—home of Skype—also reported a 29 percent revenue boost, while analysts were looking for an 18 percent increase.

"Our third quarter results were strong with PayPal gaining momentum and market share worldwide and our core eBay business showing positive trends," eBay CEO John Donahoe said in a prepared statement.

Since 2008, eBay has been making changes to improve buyers' trust, concentrating more on charging fees for items that sell than on fees for listing items, and focusing on the market for off-season and liquidation goods.

—Wire services contributed to this story.