eBay Inc. Proves It Can Go It Alone

By Steve SymingtonFool.com

For anyone thinkingeBay might not be able to hold its own without relying on PayPal's outsized growth, think again. On Wednesday evening, the online auctioneer released its first quarterly report since formally separating from PayPal on July 17, 2015. eBay stock jumped more than 8% as a result.

Keeping in mind the results of eBay Enterprise -- the sale of which eBay's board approved last quarter -- and PayPal are both being reported as discontinued operations, let's take a closer look at what the new eBay achieved in its inaugural solo quarter:

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eBay results: The raw numbers

Data source: eBay.

What happened with eBay this quarter?

  • These results don't look impressive at first glance, but keep in mind eBay's latest guidance called for more severe revenue declines of 4% to 2% and lower earnings per share of $0.38 to $0.40.
  • Foreign exchange headwinds remained: Excluding the negative effects of currency translation, revenue would have climbed 5%.
  • Reported gross merchandise volume (GMV) also fell 2% year over year to $19.6 billion, and grew 6% on a currency-neutral basis.
  • That includes 3% GMV growth in the United States, good for another one-point sequential acceleration from last quarterand largelydriven by the strength of StubHub.
  • Reported international GMV fell 5%, and grew at a currency-neutral 7%.
  • eBay's Active Buyer base grew 5% year over year to 159 million.
  • eBay bolstered per-share earnings by spending $599 million to repurchase 21.9 million shares of common stock. That leaves around $2.4 billion remaining under its current authorization.
  • Generated $704 million in operating cash flow and $462 million in free cash flow from continuing operations.
  • Repaid a $250 million debt maturity.
  • Ended the quarter with roughly $8 billion in cash, $7.4 billion in debt ($6.8 billion of which is long-term debt), and net cash of $600 million.
  • Continued progress made against the completion of the sale of eBay Enterprise.

What management had to say"We drove solid results in the quarter in which we completed a complex separation," saideBayPresident and CEODevin Wenig. "We also markedeBay's 20th anniversary and made progress on executing our strategy to reposition the company to deliver stable and profitable long-term growth."

Looking forwardFor the current quarter, eBay anticipates revenue of $2.275 billion to $2.325 billion. That's slightly below analysts' estimates for $2.33 billion, but good for currency-neutral growth of 3% to 5%. Fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share are expected to be $0.47 to $0.49, compared to analysts' estimates for $0.49 per share.

Finally, eBay reiterated full-year 2015 guidance for currency-neutral revenue growth of 3% to 5%, and -- thanks in part to its Q3 outperformance and additional planned share repurchases -- simultaneously increased its outlook for adjusted earnings per diluted share from continuing operations of $1.80 to $1.82.

In the end, investors are rightly happy with what appears to be a strong start for eBay as an independent entity. If eBay can continue to show progress toward increased profitability and sustainable long-term growth while at the same time rewarding investors through capital returns, it seems safe to expect its stock price to follow suit.

The article eBay Inc. Proves It Can Go It Alone originally appeared on Fool.com.

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends eBay and PayPal Holdings. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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