Online marketplace eBay Inc. (NYSE:EBAY) weighed in with fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that beat the Street, and full-year forecasts that topped expectations, sending the stock up nearly 5% after the market closed on Wednesday.
The company credited “solid productivity, strong growth, and a lower tax rate” for its better-than-expected results.
Fiscal first-quarter guidance met analyst expectations; the company expects adjusted earnings between 44 and 46 cents a share on net revenue in the range of $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion, in-line with forecasts for earnings of 45 cents on revenue of $2.43 billion.
For the full year, eBay projected earnings in the range of $1.90 and $1.95 a share in 2011, with revenue between $10.3 billion and $10.6 billion, beating expectations for earnings of $1.85 a share on revenue of $10.19 billion.
The e-commerce site announced fourth quarter net income of $559.2 million, or 42 cents a share. That compares with profit of $1.36 billion, or $1.02 a share, during the same period one year ago. When adjusted to exclude earnings from Skype, earnings rose to 52 cents a share from 44 cents, one year ago.
Revenue rose 5% to $2.5 billion, up from year-ago sales of $2.37 billion in the year-ago quarter.
The company’s performance easily topped the Street’s view, as analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted earnings of 47 cents a share on revenue of $2.49 billion.
"We are driving strong global growth at PayPal and strengthening our core eBay business,” said eBay Inc. President and CEO John Donahoe, in a release. “And we are innovating quickly in areas such as mobile, which is helping to position us at the forefront of trends shaping the future of shopping and payments."
The online giant boasted that PayPal ended the quarter with 94.4 million active registered accounts, with net total payment volume of $26.9 billion in the quarter. The Marketplaces business increased gross merchandise volume to $15 billion, excluding vehicles, as sold items rose 10% in the fourth quarter.
Shares of eBay fell 35 cents, or 1.5%, in the regular session on Wednesday, closing at $29.10 a share.