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Why eBay Inc. Stock Popped Today

By Steve Symington - Feb 1, 2018 at 2:13PM

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The e-commerce giant followed a fantastic holiday quarter with strong forward guidance. Here's what investors need to know.

What happened

Shares of eBay Inc. (EBAY -2.83%) were up 15.1% as of 1:15 p.m. EST Thursday after the e-commerce leader announced strong fourth-quarter 2017 results.

The company's revenue during the holiday quarter climbed 9.1% year over year (7% at constant currency) to $2.613 billion, which translated to 9.3% growth in adjusted earnings per share to $0.59. Both figures compared favorably to eBay's guidance provided in October for revenue between $2.58 billion and $2.62 billion, and adjusted earnings per share ranging from $0.57 to $0.59.

eBay office with colorful company sign in front


So what

eBay's strength was broad-based, with active buyers across its platforms climbing 5% year over year to 170 million. Marketplace gross merchandise volume (GMV) increased 9% to $23 billion, resulting in an 8% increase in revenue to $2.1 billion. StubHub's GMV fared even better, climbing 16% to $1.4 billion, with revenue up 10% to $307 million. And eBay's classifieds platform generated revenue of $244 million, up 21% from the same year-ago period.

If that wasn't enough, eBay also authorized a $6 billion increase to its stock-repurchase program with no expiration, bringing its total repurchase authorization to $7.7 billion.

Now what

CEO Devin Wenig noted this was eBay's fifth straight quarter of volume acceleration in the U.S., and predicted further acceleration in the coming year as the company continues to implement its strategy.

eBay expects full-year revenue for 2018 to arrive between $10.9 billion and $11.1 billion, representing currency-neutral growth of 7% to 9%, while full-year adjusted earnings per share should be in the range of $2.25 to $2.30. While we don't pay close attention to Wall Street's demands, both ranges were well ahead of consensus estimates that called for revenue of $10.28 billion and earnings of $2.23 per share.

All things considered, there was nothing not to like about this straightforward beat-and-raise report. And investors have every right to celebrate as eBay stock sits at an all-time high right now.

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