RealTime IT News

Fortune Favors eBay

Despite an economy that can be described as snail-paced at best, online auction giant eBay raised its guidance for 2002 while reporting first-quarter earnings of 18 cents a share, beating Wall Street's estimates by a full 2 cents.

Revenues for the San Jose, Calif.-based company came in at $245.1 million, up from $154 million in the same period a year earlier.

Profits for the first quarter were $47.6 million, up from $21.1 million a year earlier.

"These results are nothing short of extraordinary," eBay President and CEO Meg Whitman said in a conference call on the earnings report. "eBay is clearly a company built to last."

Down the road, eBay said it expects revenues for the second quarter will range between $260 million and $265 million, at the high end of previous guidance.

For the full year 2002, eBay said it expects net revenues be about $1.1 billion, at the high end of its previous guidance of $1.05 billion to $1.1 billion. On the bottom line, eBay now believes that pro forma earnings per diluted share could range between 73 cents and 75 cents, reflecting a 3- to 4-cent increase from previous guidance.

eBay reported record online transaction revenues of $213.7 million. This figure excludes revenues from third-party advertising and end-to-end services, and represents a 65 percent year-over-year growth from the $129.7 million reported a year ago.

eBay users transacted a record $3.11 billion in gross merchandise sales during the quarter.

Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial were expecting 16 cents a share on revenues of about $244 million. eBay reported fiscal 2001 revenues up 74 year-over-year to $748.8 million. Net income for the year increased 87 percent to $90.4 million.

eBay stock closed Thursday at $53.04, down $1.89.