EBay shares jump after earnings beat

EBay shares soared on Thursday after the company posted earnings that were boosted by the holidays and topped Wall Street’s expectations.

San Jose-based eBay jumped 7 percent as investors raced to grab shares of the online marketplace.

The company said Wednesday that it earned $5.95 billion during the fourth quarter that ended in December. But that number was swelled by certain items that won’t recur. The one-time items included a $4.6 billion tax benefit from a legal restructuring and a gain of $800 million from the sale of its stake in MercadoLibre.

Excluding the items, the tech giant earned $601 million, or 54 cents a share. Wall Street had expected profits of 53 cents a share.

Revenue totaled nearly $2.4 billion, which was up 3.1 percent from the fourth quarter the year before.

“During the holiday season, eBay was one of the top consumer shopping destinations in the world and the second most visited eCommerce site in the U.S.,” said Devin Wenig, the company’s chief executive officer.

The company’s $601 million fourth-quarter profit from continuing operations was 0.2 percent higher than the prior year’s October-through-December period.

For all of 2016, eBay earned $2.16 billion from continuing operations. Those results excluded the one-time items. Those profits were down 3.4 percent from 2015.

Revenue in 2016 totaled $8.98 billion, which was up 4.5 percent from revenue in 2015.

For the first quarter of 2017, eBay predicted revenue would range from $2.17 billion to $2.21 billion, while profits from continuing operations would range from 25 cents to 40 cents a share.

The company predicted that full-year revenue would range from $9.3 billion to $9.5 billion. Per-share profits from continuing operations should range from $1.20 to $1.40, eBay said.

“In 2017, we intend to accelerate the progress that we made last year as we continue to execute our business strategy,” Wenig said.


Photo: EBay headquarters in San Jose. (Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group)


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