Ebay's Q1: Posts a loss but meets targets anyway; enterprise revenue up

UPDATED: Donahoe saved his Icahn-PayPal reflection for the shareholders conference call, characterizing the first three months of the year as "an eventful first quarter, to say the least."


Shortly after resolving (at least for the time being) its spat with power investor Carl Icahn, eBay handed its first quarter earnings report after the bell on Tuesday.

The e-commerce giant reported a net loss of $2.3 billion, or $1.82 per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were 70 cents per share on a revenue of $4.3 billion, up 14 percent annually.

Wall Street wanted earnings of 67 cents per share with revenue of $4.23 billion.

Shares slipped initially in after-hours trading. The San Jose-headquartered company attributed the loss to "a discrete tax charge of approximately $3.0 billion taken on $9.0 billion of foreign earnings from the prior years that were previously not subject to U.S. tax."

Nevertheless, most of eBay's flagship units delivered more revenue when compared to the same quarter the previous year.


Enterprise, for example, was up by 16 percent with $269 million in revenue for the quarter.

Marketplaces revenue shot up by 12 percent to $2.2 billion, helped by 4.7 million new buyers. That brings the total number of active buyers up by 14 percent to 145 million. Marketplaces also grew to host more than 650 million listings.

PayPal, the source of ire between Icahn and eBay leadership , grew revenue to $1.8 billion with total payment volume up 27 percent. The digital payments service garnered 5.8 million new active registered accounts to end the quarter at 148 million, up 16 percent.

Not acknowledging any of the Icahn kerfuffle stealing headlines over the last few months, CEO John Donahoe reflected on the quarter in prepared remarks:

We are committed to delivering sustainable shareholder value and focusing on what matters most to our investors. We are executing our growth plans, capitalizing on the synergies in our portfolio and aggressively executing our $5.0 billion share buyback program. Today, we also announced a non-cash tax charge to facilitate repatriation of $6.0 billion net in foreign earnings, increasing our available U.S. cash and enhancing our financial flexibility.

Mobile might be the most overlooked spec on the balance sheet this quarter.

Mobile enabled commerce volume (ECV) grew by 70 percent to $11 billion, representing 19 percent of total ECV throughout the eBay portfolio, which was approximately $58 billion in Q1.

Mobile downloads attracted 6.5 million new customers in Q1, bringing the grand total of mobile downloads for the global commerce platform to 240 million.

For the current quarter, Wall Street expects eBay to deliver earnings of 70 cents per share on a revenue of $4.40 billion.

Ebay followed up with a Q2 revenue range of $4.325 billion to $4.425 billion with non-GAAP earnings projected to fall between 67 and 69 cents per share.

For the full year, eBay offered revenue guidance of $18 billion to $18.5 billion with earnings around $2.95 to $3 per share.

UPDATED: Donahoe saved his Icahn-PayPal reflection for the shareholders conference call, characterizing the first three months of the year as "an eventful first quarter, to say the least."

Keeping with the company narrative once again, Donahoe reiterated that PayPal will not be siphoned off in any manner, stressing that the payments platform and its parent company eBay are stronger together. He added that the "distraction" that was the back-and-forth exchange between eBay's board and Icahn's invesment empire is now over.

Chart via eBay Investor Relations


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