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Why eBay, Inc. Stock Soared Today

By Steve Symington – Jul 21, 2016 at 12:37PM

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The online marketplace is enjoying solid momentum and accelerating growth.

Image source: eBay.

What: Shares of eBay, Inc.  (EBAY 1.83%) were up 12% as of 11:30 a.m. ET Thursday after the online marketplace announced better-than-expected second-quarter 2016 results.

So what: Quarterly revenue increased 5.7% year over year (7% on a currency-neutral basis), to $2.23 billion. Gross merchandise volume (GMV) increased 4% year over year, to $20.9 billion, including a 1% rise in marketplaces GMV, to $19.8 billion (generating revenue of $1.8 billion), and 35% growth in StubHub GMV, to $1.1 billion (resulting in revenue of $225 million). eBay also added 2 million active buyers from last quarter, marking an increase of 4% year over year, to 164 million.

On the bottom line, adjusted net income from continuing operations fell 4.1%, to $496 million. But share repurchases over the past year -- including $500 million to buy back 20.8 million shares last quarter alone -- helped adjusted earnings per share rise 2.4% year over year, to $0.43. That left $0.3 billion remaining under eBay's current repurchase authorization. But to ensure no lapses in its efforts to return capital to shareholders, eBay's board also approved an additional $2.5 billion repurchase program with no expiration.

For perspective, eBay's guidance called for lower earnings per share of $0.40 to $0.42, on revenue in the range of $2.14 billion to $2.19 billion.

eBay CEO Devin Wenig praised the company's "strong results," noting revenue growth accelerated amid clear signs of momentum as the company implements its "strategy to provide the best choice, the most relevance, and the most powerful selling platform" for online consumers.

Now what: eBay also increased its full-year guidance, which now calls for 2016 revenue of $8.85 billion to $8.95 billion (up from $8.6 billion to $8.8 billion previously), and initiated guidance for full-year earnings per diluted share from continuing operations of $1.85 to $1.90. Analysts, on average, were anticipating 2016 revenue and earnings near the low end of eBay's new guidance ranges. 

All in all, this beat and raise is about as straightforward as they come, and marks eBay's fourth straight quarter of exceeding expectations since formally separating from PayPal one year ago. If eBay can sustain this momentum as it continues to invest in growing its healthy platform, I see no reason the stock won't continue to generate market-beating returns.

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends eBay and PayPal Holdings. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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