eBay meets Q4 expectations after solid holiday season

The e-commerce added two million active buyers across its platforms for the quarter and saw strong growth in revenues from StubHub.

EBay on Wednesday posted fourth quarter financial results that met market expectations, thanks to a solid holiday season and strong growth in StubHub revenues.

The e-commerce company reported non-GAAP earnings of 54 cents a share on revenue of $2.4 billion, as Wall Street was expecting. Earnings were up 8 percent year-over-year, while revenue was up 3 percent.

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EBay generated $620 million of operating cash flow in Q4 and $484 million of free cash flow from continuing operations, including a $272 million cash tax payment related to the sale of its equity holdings of MercadoLibre. The company also repurchased $1.0 billion of its common stock in the quarter.

"Q4 was a record quarter highlighted by solid performance in our eBay business. During the holiday season, eBay was one of the top consumer shopping destinations in the world and the second most visited eCommerce site in the U.S.," President and CEO Devin Wenig said in a statement. "In 2017, we intend to accelerate the progress that we made last year as we continue to execute our business strategy."

eBay added two million active buyers across its platforms for the quarter, adding up to a total of 167 million global active buyers. The eBay Marketplace platforms delivered $21.1 billion of gross merchandise volume (GMV) and $1.9 billion of revenue. Marketplace revenue remained flat year-over-year. Meanwhile, the Marketplace mobile platform crossed $10 billion of volume for the first time.

StubHub had a record quarter with GMV of $1.2 billion, up 5 percent. Its revenue of $279 million was up 20 percent, with strength in its baseball and theater genres. The Classifieds platforms brought in revenue of $201 million, up 10 percent year-over-year.

eBay has sought to grow the company through its long-term structured data initiative to improve the consumer experience. It's also taken steps to give merchants a better experience, such as its tighter integration with BigCommerce. Still, e-commerce space is increasingly competitive. Amazon continues to grow quickly, while traditional retailers are bolstering their digital presence and internet companies like Facebook move into commerce.

For the full year 2016, eBay's total GMV came to $84 billion, up 3 percent, while revenue was $9 billion, up 5 percent.

As for its Q1 2017 outlook, eBay expects net revenue between $2.17 billion and $2.21 billion, with non-GAAP earnings in the range of 46 to 48 cents. Wall Street is expecting eBay's Q1 EPS to come in at 50 cents on sales of $2.21 billion.

For the full year 2017, eBay is expecting net revenue between $9.3 billion and $9.5 billion, with non-GAAP earnings in the range of $1.98 to $2.03.

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