EBay triples Q3 earnings, ups bid on Q4

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 $61 million, or 21 cents per share, on revenue of $288.8 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30. That compares with net income of $18.8 million, or 7 cents per share, on revenue of $194 million for the third quarter of last year.

Releasing its results late yesterday, eBay said a spike in user transactions allowed it to meet its own expectations for the quarter. The company had earlier predicted earnings per share of 19 cents, 2 cents per share below what it actually earned.

Third-quarter revenue from online transactions soared 73% over the same period last year, totaling $263.6 million. That compared with the $152.3 million in revenue from online transactions 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 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. (see story), eBay raised its revenue and earnings-per-share guidance for the fourth quarter of this year. The company now expects net revenue of $372 million to $381 million, with earnings per share of 19 cents to 20 cents for the last quarter of the year.

The San Jose-based 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 to $1.18 billion and earnings of 76 cents to 77 cents per share.

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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