EBay had the fastest quarterly revenue growth rate since 2005, according to its CEO.
The pandemic’s boost to online retailing continues to benefit eBay, which posted better-than-expected first-quarter financial results. But the stock was selling off in late trading after management’s forecast of earnings for the current quarter fell short of what Wall Street expected.
For the quarter, eBay (ticker: EBAY) posted revenue of $3.0 billion, up 42%, or 38% adjusted for currency moves, and slightly ahead of both the company’s guidance range of $2.94 billion to $2.99 billion and the Wall Street consensus of $2.97 billion. Gross merchandise value was $27.5 billion, up 29% as reported and 24% adjusted for currency. Adjusted profits, not reported according to generally accepted accounting principles, were $1.09 a share, edging past both the guidance range of $1.03 to $1.08 a share and the Street consensus of $1.07.
The company said annual active buyers grew 7% to 187 million, while sellers were up 8%, to 20 million.
Under GAAP, the company earned 82 cents a share. None of the figures include the company’s classified-advertising business, which is being acquired by Adevinta. EBay continues to expect that deal to close in the current quarter.
Management didn’t provide any update on its recent announcement that it is exploring the sale of its business in South Korea.
For the June quarter, the company is projecting revenue of $2.98 billion to $3.03 billion, up 8% to 10%, with non-GAAP profits of 91 to 96 cents a share. The Street consensus calls had been for revenue of $2.93 billion and $1.02 in per-share earnings.
After announcing a new stock repurchase plan last quarter. eBay bought back $292 million of stock in the quarter.
“We delivered another strong quarter for the company and an excellent start to the year for our buyers and sellers. We generated tremendous volume and earnings, with revenue growth the highest it has been since 2005,” eBay CEO
said in a statement. He said the results prove that the long-term strategy he laid out in July is working.
In an interview with Barron’s, Iannone said the company had an “excellent start” to the new year, with the fastest quarterly revenue growth rate since 2005. He noted that the company continued to gain traction in payments, with 52% of transactions now handled on its own platform, including 80% of all U.S. transactions. He also said the company continued to make progress on advertising, with 58% growth in promoted listings.
Iannone also said the company is making gains in its push into vertical markets, citing “another quarter of tripled digit growth” in sneakers, and 38% growth in watches. He said the company is pushing into two new verticals: collectible trading cards and personalized and customized merchandise.
In late trading, eBay was down 5.8%, to $58.72.
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