For anyone thinking eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) might not be able to hold its own without relying on PayPal's (NASDAQ:PYPL) outsized growth, think again. On Wednesday evening, the online auctioneer released its first quarterly report since formally separating from PayPal on July 17, 2015. eBay stock jumped more than 8% as a result.

Keeping in mind the results of eBay Enterprise -- the sale of which eBay's board approved last quarter -- and PayPal are both being reported as discontinued operations, let's take a closer look at what the new eBay achieved in its inaugural solo quarter:

eBay results: The raw numbers


Q3 2015 Actuals

Q3 2014 Actuals

Growth (YOY)


 $2.1 billion

 $2.15 billion


Adjusted Net Income from Continuing Operations

 $529 million

 $579 million


Adjusted EPS




Data source: eBay.

What happened with eBay this quarter?

  • These results don't look impressive at first glance, but keep in mind eBay's latest guidance called for more severe revenue declines of 4% to 2% and lower earnings per share of $0.38 to $0.40.
  • Foreign exchange headwinds remained: Excluding the negative effects of currency translation, revenue would have climbed 5%.
  • Reported gross merchandise volume (GMV) also fell 2% year over year to $19.6 billion, and grew 6% on a currency-neutral basis.
  • That includes 3% GMV growth in the United States, good for another one-point sequential acceleration from last quarter and largely driven by the strength of StubHub.
  • Reported international GMV fell 5%, and grew at a currency-neutral 7%.
  • eBay's Active Buyer base grew 5% year over year to 159 million.
  • eBay bolstered per-share earnings by spending $599 million to repurchase 21.9 million shares of common stock. That leaves around $2.4 billion remaining under its current authorization.
  • Generated $704 million in operating cash flow and $462 million in free cash flow from continuing operations.
  • Repaid a $250 million debt maturity.
  • Ended the quarter with roughly $8 billion in cash, $7.4 billion in debt ($6.8 billion of which is long-term debt), and net cash of $600 million.
  • Continued progress made against the completion of the sale of eBay Enterprise.

What management had to say
"We drove solid results in the quarter in which we completed a complex separation," said eBay President and CEO Devin Wenig. "We also marked eBay's 20th anniversary and made progress on executing our strategy to reposition the company to deliver stable and profitable long-term growth."

Looking forward 
For the current quarter, eBay anticipates revenue of $2.275 billion to $2.325 billion. That's slightly below analysts' estimates for $2.33 billion, but good for currency-neutral growth of 3% to 5%. Fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share are expected to be $0.47 to $0.49, compared to analysts' estimates for $0.49 per share. 

Finally, eBay reiterated full-year 2015 guidance for currency-neutral revenue growth of 3% to 5%, and -- thanks in part to its Q3 outperformance and additional planned share repurchases -- simultaneously increased its outlook for adjusted earnings per diluted share from continuing operations of $1.80 to $1.82. 

In the end, investors are rightly happy with what appears to be a strong start for eBay as an independent entity. If eBay can continue to show progress toward increased profitability and sustainable long-term growth while at the same time rewarding investors through capital returns, it seems safe to expect its stock price to follow suit.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.