Kicking off tech earnings season, eBay (EBAY) revealed fourth-quarter results on Wednesday that narrowly topped estimates, but also issued a cautious outlook for the first quarter of 2013.
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After initially coming under pressure, shares of the global commerce platform and payments company ticked slightly higher in extended trading.
EBay said it earned $927 million, or 70 cents a share, last quarter, compared with $1.23 billion, or 60 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had been calling for EPS of 69 cents.
Net revenue rose 18% to $3.99 billion, narrowly topping the Street’s view of $3.98 billion.
“We had a great finish to an excellent year, with fourth quarter results exceeding our expectations," CEO John Donahoe said in a statement. "EBay Marketplaces in particular had a terrific fourth quarter, with growth in the U.S. accelerating three points, outpacing ecommerce."
EBay’s fourth-quarter results were boosted by a 16% jump in eBay marketplaces net revenue to $2.05 billion. Gross merchandise volume, excluding vehicles, gained 16% to $19.11 billion.
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Payments net revenue soared 24% to $1.54 billion last quarter, highlighted by a 24% leap in total payment volume to $41.47 billion.
The company also continues to build out its mobile offerings, doubling its annual mobile volume to $13 billion. EBay said PayPal handled nearly $14 billion in mobile payment volume in 2012, tripling the volume from 2011.
However, eBay’s outlook may give some shareholders pause. The company projected first-quarter non-GAAP EPS of 60 cents to 62 cents, compared with consensus calls from analysts for 63 cents. Revenue is seen ranging between $3.65 billion to $3.75 billion, which would trail the Street’s view of $3.80 billion.
Management also forecasted 2013 non-GAAP EPS of $2.70 to $2.75 on revenue of $16 billion to $16.5 billion. By comparison, Wall Street had been anticipating full-year EPS of $2.74 on revenue of $16.3 billion.
EBay said it expects both its mobile and PayPal mobile to services to exceed $20 billion in volume in 2013.
PayPal ended the fourth quarter with about 123 million registered accounts, adding almost two million accounts a month in the quarter.
San Jose-based eBay gained 0.43% to $53.13 in after-hours trading Wednesday evening, putting the stock on track to extend its 73% surge over the past 12 months.