eBay sees $1 billion revenue in ad sales for FY2021, new focus on sneakers

The online marketplace delivered mixed Q4 results and a disappointing Q1 outlook, but it's looking for future growth in a few key areas.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Ebay on Wednesday reported its fourth quarter financial results, delivering mixed Q4 results and a Q1 outlook below market expectations. The market was unhappy with the results, with shares falling in after-hours trading. Still, CEO Jamie Iannone said the company's growth in advertising revenue, as well as its growth in focus categories like luxury goods and sneakers, leaves it in a good position for future growth. 

All told, eBay's non-GAAP earnings per diluted share came to $1.05 on revenue of $2.6 billion, up 5% year-over-year. 

Analysts were expecting earnings of 99 cents per share on revenue of $2.61 billion. 

"Rounding out a very strong year, I'm proud of our team for delivering yet another solid quarter," CEO Jamie Iannone said in a statement. "By investing in our strategy to drive sustainable growth, we increased customer satisfaction, improved the seller and buyer experience, and returned value to our shareholders. During the quarter, we completed our multi-year payments transition, and generated growth in both our advertising business and focus categories. As we continue to accelerate our strategy, we are well positioned for future growth." 

The company's advertising offerings surpassed $1 billion in revenue for the year. EBay's total revenue for the full year was $10.4 billion, up 17% year-over-year.


Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) for the quarter was $20.7 billion, down 10% year-over-year. The company updated its definition of GMV to align with customer money flows on its platforms. eBay's GMV now includes all paid transactions on its platforms, including shipping fees and taxes. The company also restated its historical metrics to reflect the updated definition. 

Meanwhile, annual active buyers in the quarter declined by 9%, for a total of 147 million global active buyers. Annual active sellers declined by 8%, for a total of 17 million global active sellers.

While the platform has fewer active users, it's putting more focus on certain categories. During the quarter, eBay expanded its authentication of luxury watches to the UK and Germany. The company also began authenticating cross-border sneaker transactions into the US and cross-border luxury handbag imports from Japan. Additionally, eBay debuted its new 3D true view technology for sneakers, which enables sellers to showcase the actual item they are selling with a proprietary, interactive, 360-degree view.

eBay saw faster GMV growth in focused categories that now represent approximately 20% of global volume. The company's sneaker business continued to grow at double digits globally, and its luxury watches and handbags categories saw double-digit growth in the US.

In terms of Q1 2022 guidance, eBay said it expects revenue between $2.43 billion and $2.48 billion and diluted non-GAAP EPS between $1.01 and $1.05. Analysts are looking for Q4 revenue of $2.62 billion and EPS of $1.10.

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