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.

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