eBay blows away Wall Street in Q1

Investors snap up eBay shares after hours after the company's myriad e-commerce arms fired on all cylinders in the quarter.


One European economy (or more) may still blow up. Unemployment at home remains uncomfortably high. And housing - despite promises of light over the horizon - remains anyone's guess.

But none of that mattered at eBay's, where the company enjoyed a surprisingly strong first quarter on the strength of the company's Marketplace and PayPal businesses.

In the first quarter ended March 31, 2012, net income rose to $725 million, or 55 cents per share, against $619 million, or 47 cents per share in the same quarter one year ago. Sales increased 29% to $3.3 billion.

The numbers delighted Wall Street as investors sent shares of eBay up more than 3.5% in after-hours trading.

A conference call was scheduled later in the afternoon but in a prepared statement, CEO John Donahoe said the quarter marked a strong start to the year, pointing to momentum continuing in eBay's Marketplaces, PayPal and GSI Commerce businesses.

"We believe that innovation in retail today is technology driven, and consumers are embracing smarter, easier, better ways to shop," he said. "We are enabling commerce in this new retail environment, supporting and partnering with sellers of all sizes and giving consumers worldwide the ability to shop anytime, anywhere, for whatever they want."

Part of the investor excitement was pegged to eBay's projection of a second-quarter profit between 53 cents and 55 cents a share on sales between $3.25 billion and $3.35 billion.

  • PayPal:109.8 million active registered accounts, a 12% increase over the first quarter of 2011. PayPal also revenue increased 32% year over year. PayPal ended the quarter with 109.8 million registered users.
  • Marketplaces: Gross merchandise volume excluding vehicles up 12% year over year to $16 billion. Sold items increased 17% compared to the first quarter of 2011.
  • GSI: $237 million in revenue for the first quarter. GSI generated $715 million in global ecommerce merchandise sales during the quarter. Same store sales grew 26% year over year.
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