EBay triples Q3 earnings, ups bid on Q4

ITworld.com –

Bucking an industry slump, online auction powerhouse eBay Inc. tripled its net earnings for the third quarter of 2002, and raised its fourth-quarter revenue guidance, citing a surge in transactions.

The company reported net income of US$61 million, or $0.21 a share, on revenue of $288.8 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30. This compares to net income of $18.8 million, or $0.07 a share, on revenue of $194 million for the third-quarter of last year.

Upon releasing its results late Thursday, eBay said that a spike in user transactions allowed it to meet its own expectations for the quarter. Upon releasing its second quarter results, the company predicted earnings per share of $0.19, $0.02 below its actual earnings.

Third-quarter revenue generated from online transactions soared 73 percent over the same period last year, meanwhile, totalling $263.6 million, compared to the $152.3 million generated in the third quarter of 2001.

"Our success results from our thriving community of users -- buyers looking for practically everything and sellers using eBay to build their business," eBay President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Meg Whitman said in a statement.

Based on its brighter-than-expected results, and the recent completed acquisition of online payment company PayPal Inc., eBay raised its revenue and earnings-per-share guidance for the fourth quarter of this year. The company now expects net revenue of between $372 million and $381 million, with earnings per share of between $0.19 and $0.20 for the last quarter of the year.

The San Jose, California, company finalized its purchase of PayPal on Oct. 3, earlier than it expected, and hopes the payment system will add extra cash to its fourth-quarter coffers.

For the full year, the company predicted net revenue of $1.17 billion and $1.18 billion, and earnings between $0.76 and $0.77 per share.

Shares in the company (EBAY) traded up 2.85 percent in morning trading Friday to $59.81 a share.

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