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eBay Inc. Delivers Another Solid Quarter

By Steve Symington - Apr 19, 2017 at 8:16PM

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But the online marketplace's results were overshadowed once again by conservative guidance.

eBay Inc. (EBAY 2.81%) released first-quarter 2017 results Wednesday after the market closed, punctuated by accelerating growth in active buyers from this time last year. 

Let's zoom in to see what drove eBay's business as it kicked off the new year, as well as what investors can expect going forward.

An exterior view of the EBAY offices.

Image source: eBay. 

eBay results: The raw numbers


Q1 2017

Q1 2016

Year-Over-Year Growth


$2.217 billion

$2.137 billion


Adjusted net income from continuing operations

$538 million

$550 million


Adjusted EPS




Data source: eBay.

What happened with eBay this quarter?

  • These results exceeded eBay's guidance, which called for revenue between $2.17 billion and $2.21 billion, and adjusted earnings per share in the range of $0.46 to $0.48.
  • Revenue climbed 5% on a currency-neutral basis.
  • eBay added 2 million active buyers from last quarter, bringing its total to 169 million.
  • Marketplace gross merchandise volume (GMV) increased 2% year over year (5% at constant currency), to $20.0 billion, which translated to 2% growth in revenue, to $1.8 billion. This growth was driven by a combination of more active buyers, expansion of eBay's new user experiences, and successful brand advertising.
  • Stubhub GMV increased 6%, to $916 million, which resulted in 18% growth in revenue, to $210 million. Growth here was helped by international strength with the integration of Ticketbis, which eBay acquired for $165 million last summer.
  • Classifieds revenue increased 7% (10% at constant currency), to $199 million.
  • eBay repurchased 10 million shares during the quarter for $350 million, leaving $986 million under eBay's total repurchase authorization.
  • The company generated operating cash flow of $582 million from continuing operations and free cash flow of $447 million. eBay ended the quarter with cash, cash equivalents, and non-equity investments of $11.2 billion.

What management had to say

"The first quarter was a strong start to the year with accelerating growth in active buyers, revenue and our core U.S. business," stated eBay CEO Devin Wenig. "We are on the right path as we continue to evolve our shopping platform for consumers, leverage our technology advantages, and market a sharpened eBay brand globally."

Looking forward

For the second quarter, eBay expects revenue between $2.28 billion and $2.32 billion, good for currency-neutral growth of 5% to 7%. On the bottom line, that should result in adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.43 to $0.45. But despite its relative outperformance in Q1, eBay reaffirmed its full-year 2017 guidance for revenue between $9.3 billion and $9.5 billion and adjusted earnings per share in the range of $1.98 to $2.03. By comparison -- and though we typically don't pay close attention to Wall Street's demands -- analysts' consensus estimates predicted that revenue near the midpoint of guidance would result in earnings at the high end of eBay's reiterated range.

With shares up nearly 35% over the past year leading up to this report, including a 14% gain so far in 2017 on the heels of its record holiday-quarter results in late January, there were no real surprises in these results.

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