eBay Surges On Earnings Beat

(eBay article updated with additional information for earnings and stock movement.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- eBay's ( EBAY) fourth-quarter earnings topped Wall Street's expectations as online shopping buoyed the holiday season.

During the quarter the e-commerce company earned $559 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with $1.36 billion, or 1.02 a share in the year-ago period. Excluding costs related to the sale of its Skype business, eBay actually earned 52 cents a share.

Revenue climbed 5% to $2.5 billion.

Analysts were calling for a profit of 47 cents a share on revenue of $2.48 billion.

This marks the 18th consecutive quarter eBay surpassed EPS estimates.

Shares are up more than 3% in after hours trading.

eBay has been working to revamp its marketplace site to woo buyers and sellers with a redesigned homepage and cutting upfront fees.

But eBay's PayPal business has been the true driver of growth over the past several quarters. Total revenue and total payments volume exceeded expectations, with 94.4 million active registered accounts, adding approximately one million active accounts per month. PayPal's net total payment volume was $26.9 billion.

Its mobile business has also become an increasingly important piece of the pie. Total gross mobile gross merchandise volume for the full year reached nearly $2 billion.

eBay's better-than-expected results come as online shopping over the holiday season was one of the biggest bright spots. According to comScore, online shopping during the November to December period rose 12% from last year to $32.6 billion, surpassing forecasts of an 11% jump.

On an adjusted basis, eBay expects first-quarter earnings in the range of 44 cents to 46 cents a share and full-year profit between $1.90 and $1.95 a share. Wall Street is calling for a profit of 45 cents and $1.85 a share, respectively.

-- Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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