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EBay Inc signage displayed at the entrance to the company's headquarters in San Jose, California, USA. (Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

eBay projects revenue that tops estimates on customer growth

EBay Inc signage displayed at the entrance to the company's headquarters in San Jose, California, USA. (Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

eBay Inc gave revenue and profit forecasts for the current period that topped analysts’ estimates, suggesting the company is gaining new customers amid an e-commerce boom. Shares jumped about 10 per cent in extended trading.

Sales will be between US$2.94 billion and US$2.99 billion in the first quarter, the San Jose, California-based company said Wednesday in a statement. Earnings, excluding some items, will be US$1.03 to US$1.08 a share. Analysts estimated profit of 85 cents a share on sales of US$2.54 billion.

eBay Chief Executive Officer Jamie Iannone, who took the helm in April, is still trying to show that the slimmed-down company can lure customers and get them to spend more on the site. (Photo: PR Newswire)

Pandemic-wary shoppers have turned to online marketplaces like EBay and Amazon.com Inc to avoid stores in the era of social distancing. eBay said it ended the quarter with 185 million active buyers, an increase of seven per cent.

Looking for a turnaround

The company has been divesting pieces under pressure from activist investors. Last year, it sold event-tickets marketplace StubHub to Viagogo for US$4.05 billion and its classifieds business to Norway’s Adevinta ASA in a cash-and-stock deal worth US$9.2 billion that leaves eBay with a 44.4 per cent stake in the company. It is exploring the sale of the company’s online marketplace in Korea where eBay gets more than 10 per cent of its revenue.

Chief Executive Officer Jamie Iannone, who took the helm in April, is still trying to show that a slimmed-down eBay can lure customers and get them to spend more on the site.

Pandemic-wary shoppers have turned to online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.com Inc to avoid stores in the era of social distancing. (File photo)

Revenue jumped 28 per cent to US$2.89 billion in the period ended Dec. 31, beating analysts’ average projection of US$2.7 billion. Profit, excluding some items, was 86 cents a share, compared with the average estimate of 82 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Gross merchandise volume, the value of all goods sold on the site, rose 21 per cent in the holiday quarter to 26.6 billion, down from a 22 per cent year-over-year increase in the third quarter.

Shares rose to a high of US$64.86 in extended trading after closing at US$58.04. the stock has increased almost 70 per cent in the past 12 months.