Earnings Preview: Analysts see higher eBay profit

Analysts expect that growth at PayPal, marketplaces lifted eBay's 1st-qtr profit

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Analysts expect that eBay Inc. increased its first-quarter profit, helped by its fast-growing PayPal business as well as its e-commerce site and mobile apps.

The company reports after the stock market closes on Wednesday.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Investors will be looking for growth at PayPal and at eBay's marketplaces unit, which includes its namesake shopping site. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said data show that eBay had a "solid finish to the quarter," with March faring better than February. That matches with broader online shopping trends, he added.

The company expects new technologies such as mobile shopping will help it keep growing profit.

BGC analyst Colin Gillis called the company "the leader in mobile commerce and payments" in a recent note to investors. EBay's mobile apps are adding new users and growing revenue at a fast pace as more people use their phones and tablet computers to shop.

WHY IT MATTERS: EBay is one of the world's largest e-commerce companies. The health of its core businesses gives an idea of how overall online and, increasingly, traditional commerce are faring.

WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts, on average, are expecting adjusted earnings of 62 cents per share on revenue of $3.77 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.

EBay said in January that it expects adjusted earnings of 60 cents to 62 cents per share on revenue ranging from $3.65 billion to $3.75 billion.

LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: The San Jose, Calif.-based company earned 44 cents per share, or 55 cents per share, excluding one-time items. Revenue came to $3.28 billion.

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