MercadoLibre (NASDAQ: MELI ) reported fiscal 2014 first-quarter earnings results after the market closed today that trounced Wall Street's estimates. For the period ended March 31, MercadoLibre generated a profit of $30.3 million, or $0.69 per share -- more than a 73% increase over the same period a year ago. That crushed analyst expectations for earnings per share of just $0.57 in the quarter.
Meanwhile, MercadoLibre's revenue climbed 12.3%, to $115.4 million, in the first-quarter, up from $102.7 million in the year-ago period. For comparison, the Street was looking for revenue of $109.4 million. The company's chief executive Marcos Galperin said, "Solid first quarter results showed progress in key initiatives such as payments, mobile and customer experience, encouraging us to keep innovating, executing and seizing the huge potential of our region's e-commerce."
The Latin American e-commerce giant added new merchandise to its product mix in the quarter, as gross merchandise volume grew to $1,797.3 million -- up 15% year over year. Payment transactions were another bright spot in the quarter, increasing more than 36%, with MercadoPago processing as much as $9.2 million payments in the period. Overall, MercadoLibre said its strong performance in the quarter was, in part, driven by growth in payments, as well as improved mobile penetration. As of the end of March, MercadoLibre's mobile app had been downloaded more than 10 million times.
Shares of MercadoLibre are down 21% year to date.