EBay Earnings Top Expectations but Outlook Is Mixed

EBayreported quarterly results that topped analysts' expectations, helped by a gain on the sale of its remaining investment in Skype and 28-percent jump in revenue growth at its PayPal unit. Hower, the online auctioneer's outlook was mixed.


In the fourth quarter, the companyposted earnings excluding items of 60 cents per share, up from 52 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue was $3.4 billion, an increase from $2.50 billion a year ago.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of 57 cents per share on revenue of $3.32 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Net income jumped to $1.98 billion from $559 million.

PayPal continued to grow: The online-payment system ended the quarter with 106.3 million active registered accounts, up 13% from a year earlier. On average, the company said, PayPal added a million new accounts every month in 2011. Revenue at the unit was up 28 percent.

The company's first-quarter guidance fell short of analysts' expectations but the full-year outlook came in above forecasts.

EBay said it expects first-quarter non-GAAP earnings between 50 and 51 cent a share and revenue between $3.05 and $3.15 billion. The current consensus is for earnings of 54 cents a share on revenue of $3.16 billion.

For the full year, eBay expects non-GAAP earnings of $2.25 to $2.30 a share on revenue of $13.7 billion to $14 billion. Analysts currently peg earnings at $2.31 a share and revenue at $13.63 billion.

After the earnings release, shares of the company were mostly higher. (Click here for the latest after-hour quote.)