eBay tops 3Q expectations

eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) easily beat the consensus analyst estimate in the third quarter.

After market close Thursday, the online auctioneer reported third quarter net income of $19.1 million, or 7 cents per share, excluding special charges. First Call's survey of 29 analysts predicted a profit of 4 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Shares of eBay shot up to 67 in afterhours activity on the Island electronic communications network, immediately following the release of quarterly results. eBay stock rose 3.8125 to 57.1875 in Thursday's regular trading ahead of the earnings report.

Including $3.4 million in charges related to stock compensation and $900,000 in other one-time costs, eBay earned $15.2 million or 5 cents per share.

Third quarter revenue increased 93.8 percent year-over-year to $113.4 million. Online net revenue more than doubled to $102.8 million, from $49.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

Gross margin in the third quarter rose to 79 percent, compared to 76 percent in the second quarter and 71 percent a year earlier. The improvement was fueld by tight cost controls in customer support and site operations, as well as increased business in higher margin fields such as autos, the company said.

eBay users traded about $1.4 billion in goods, an 83 percent gain year-over-year. The number of auctions hosted during the third quarter increased 89 percent to 68.5 million from 36.2 million a year ago.

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