RealTime IT News

Record eBay Earnings Not Good Enough

Online marketplace eBay reported record quarterly revenues on Wednesday.

The net revenues of $1.329 billion for eBay's fourth quarter of 2005 were up 42 percent year-over-year. The company delivered quarterly GAAP-diluted earnings per share of $0.20 and pro forma-diluted EPS of $0.24.

The company reported operating income of $370.4 million, up 30 percent year-over-year.

The quarterly earnings exceeded the high end of the company's guidance of $1.285 billion for net revenues, exceeded the company's guidance of $0.16 for GAAP earnings per diluted share and exceeded the company's guidance of $0.21 for pro forma earnings per diluted share.

Growth continued apace for the full year. For 2005, eBay generated consolidated net revenues of $4.552 billion, a 39 percent increase over the $3.271 billion it raked in during 2004.

Operating cash flows increased 56 percent year-over-year to $2.010 billion.

Total listings on eBay of 1.9 billion in 2005 were 33 percent higher than reported for 2004, while gross merchandise volume, the total value of all successfully closed listings on eBay's trading platforms, was a record $44.3 billion, representing a 30 percent year-over-year increase.

PayPal, eBay's payments platform, did some heavy lifting, handling $27.5 billion payments in 2005.

U.S. marketplaces had net revenues of $526.1 million in the fourth quarter, representing 39 percent growth for the year. International net revenues for the quarter delivered 35 percent growth, totaling $473.5 million.

Fixed-price trading, via eBay's "buy it now" offering, accounted for 34 percent of all sales during the quarter.

The controversial Skype Technologies purchase, completed in October 2005, added $24.8 million to the pot from the acquisition date through the end of the year.

The company said it expects consolidated net revenues for 2006 to be in the range of $5.700 billion to $5.900 billion, with consolidated net revenues for the first quarter of 2006 in the range of $1.365 to $1.380 billion.

Although eBay's earnings and sales were at the top of analysts' estimates, the company's full-year guidance was below The Street's expectation of $1.02 EPS and $5.95 billion in sales. Shares fell 5.49 percent in after-hours trading.