February 13, 2020 / 10:30 PM / 12 days ago

EBay raises share buyback plan, forecasts strong first-quarter profit

The eBay logo is pictured on a phone screen in this photo illustration in New York, U.S., July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Illustration

(Reuters) - EBay Inc added $3 billion to its 2020 share buyback plan and forecast current-quarter profit above analysts’ expectations on Thursday after closing the sale of its StubHub ticketing unit.

The company is expanding its buyback plans to $4.5 billion.

EBay expects to post first-quarter adjusted profit of between 72 cents and 75 cents, while analysts are expecting 72 cents, according to Refinitiv data.

The outlook reflects the benefit of share buybacks and investment timing, offset by the impact of the StubHub sale, the company said.

In November 2019, the company agreed to sell StubHub to Viagogo Ltd for $4.05 billion nearly a year after the ecommerce major came under pressure from activist investors to hive off some of its businesses.

For the full year 2020, eBay expects to post a profit in the range of $3.00 to $3.10 per share, the midpoint of which is above estimates.

EBay shares rose 2.4% in trading after the bell.

Reporting by Abhishek Manikandan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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