eBay Shares Drop After Lackluster Earnings Report, Forecast

Image via Flickr/ Sarah Gilbert

Investors shied away from Ebay in after-hours trading in spite of a third-quarter earnings report that rose 15 percent from the same period a year ago. According to the report that came in after the closing bell, Ebay profited $689 million – 53 cents per share – on revenue of $3.9 billion, compared to earnings of just $597 million – 45 cents a share – on $3.4 billion in sales one year ago.

Although results were consistent with analysts’ estimates, shares dropped by more than 5 percent within hours of the report. The downward movement was less-than-ironic, however, based on E-bay’s less-than-stellar forecast for the fourth quarter, in which Ebay forecast earnings  of 79 to 81 cents a share on revenue from $4.5 to $4.6 billion. Analysts, however, were seeking a profit outlook of 83 cents a share on $4.64 billion in sales. Of course, that estimate is based on the assumed $800 million acquisition of payment’s technology company Braintree closing during the fourth quarter. Still, Ebay’s report included several positive points.

In the past 12 months we have enabled $200 billion of commerce volume, a 20 percent increase in a fairly lackluster macro environment,” John Donahoe, the president and CEO, said in a statement. “That growth demonstrates the strength of our core businesses and our power as a partner, not a competitor, to merchants, brands and retailers.”

PayPal’s revenue was one of the bright spots in the Q3 report, rising 19 percent to $1.6 million, while PayPal’s total payment volume actually increased a full 25 percent to $44 billion. Paypal also added 5 million accounts to a total of 137 active registered accounts in the third quarter. According to Donahoe, 9,000 restaurants now support PayPal payments.

Mobile was also a strong source of growth for Ebay, and mobile-enabled commerce volume jumped a full 75 percent. In fact, 22 percent of all Ebay’s sales are now conducted via mobile, as the company added 3.2 million mobile users, who Donahoe called “the users of the future,” across all its products.

PayPal’s localized service in Russia also boosted earnings in the third quarter.

In the first two weeks of PayPal launching in Russia, 2,000 merchants applied for accounts,” Donahoe said on the call. “And 1 million Russian consumers registered for consumer accounts.”

Disclosure: The author has no position in the stocks mentioned in this article, and does not intend to initiate any position in the next 48 hours.