EBay holiday-quarter revenue up 3.1 percent, shares jump

Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:25pm EST
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By Jeffrey Dastin and Anya George Tharakan

(Reuters) - EBay Inc (EBAY.O: Quote) reported a 3.1 percent rise in revenue for the fourth-quarter holiday period, offering signs of improvement at the company's traditional marketplace business and sending shares up more than 8 percent in extended trading on Wednesday.

EBay, once synonymous with online auctions, has been revamping its platform to help it compete better with Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O: Quote), the world's largest online retailer, as well as with brick-and-mortar sellers. That has meant a shift toward fixed-price sales and product landing pages, easier to navigate than the dozens of listings sellers could generate for a single good.

"It is a turnaround process for the company," said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis.

Against a backdrop of dismal holiday sales from Macy's Inc (M.N: Quote) and Kohl's Corp (KSS.N: Quote), eBay met analysts' expectations for quarterly profit and revenue, as shoppers ordered more items online.

EBay, based in San Jose, California, forecast revenue would rise to $9.5 billion in 2017, versus analysts' average estimate of $9.36 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"They are clearly confident about the way the business is trending," said Edward Jones Research analyst Josh Olson. "It's going to be a question of whether they can execute."

The guidance suggested that eBay's marketplace sales growth would accelerate, Baird Equity Research analyst Colin Sebastian said in a note.

The company's outlook was not entirely rosy.   Continued...

An eBay sign is seen at an office building in San Jose, California May 28, 2014. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach/File Photo