Quarterly net profit at eBay rose 24 percent, aided by strength in its core auction business and by international growth, and the company said 2007 earnings would be at the high end of analysts' forecasts.
The company reported on Wednesday a rise in net income for the fourth quarter to $346.5 million, or 25 cents a share, from the year-earlier quarter's net income of $279.2 million, or 20 cents a diluted share.
Wall Street was looking for a fourth-quarter net profit, on average, of 22 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Net revenue rose 29 percent to $1.72 billion from a year earlier, representing a steadying of eBay's growth rate in recent quarters that could reassure investors worried by a decline in the past three years from levels around 50 percent.
Analysts were looking for revenue, on average, of $1.67 billion, a growth rate of about 25 percent, according to Reuters Estimates. Forecasts were in a tight range between $1.63 billion and $1.71 billion.
Excluding one-time stock-based compensation charges, net income rose 35 percent to $397 million, or 28 cents per share--matching Wall Street's consensus forecast, according to Reuters Estimates.
eBay said it expects first-quarter net revenue of $1.67 billion to $1.72 billion, squarely in the middle of current estimates. Analysts forecasts range from $1.65 billion to $1.75 billion for the quarter, according to Reuters Estimates.
The company expects first-quarter diluted earnings per share, excluding one-time items, in a range of 28 cents to 30 cents. The current Wall Street consensus is for 29 cents a share, according to the Reuters Estimates survey.
For the 2007 year, eBay said it expected revenue from $7.05 billion to $7.30 billion.
Wall Street was looking for revenue to grow around 21 percent, based on the average of a range of estimates between $6.94 billion and $7.49 billion, according to Reuters Estimates, squarely in the middle of forecasts.
2007 full-year earnings, excluding one-time items, are expected to be in a range from $1.25 to $1.29 per share, the company said. That's slightly above the current consensus of $1.24 a share and in the upper half of current forecasts ranging from $1.19 to $1.32, according to Reuters Estimates.