Mobile commerce helps eBay exceed Q4 expectations

Alex Walls
January 18, 2013

Strong results from e-Bay mobile has helped the company exceed expectations for its fourth quarter.

The company beat analyst expectations thanks to a boost from its increased number of mobile shoppers, E-Commerce News reported, with revenue up 18% to $US4.0 billion (£2.5 billion) for the quarter, compared with the 2011 fourth quarter.

e-Bay reported net income of $751 million (£471 million) for the fourth quarter (GAAP) and $927 million (£582 million) on a non-GAAP basis.  This growth was driven by factors including double digit user growth and strong gains in mobile, the company said.

The net income still represented a 62% drop compared with the same quarter in 2011 but E-Commerce Times reported this figure included proceeds from the sale of Skype.

Full year revenue increased 21% to $US14.1 billion (£8.7 billion) compared with 2011, and the company reported net income on a GAAP basis of $US2.6 billion (£1.6 billion), with non-GAAP income of $US3.1 billion (£1.9 billion).

eBay president and chief executive John Donahoe said the fourth quarter results exceeded the company’s expectations and mobile continued to “rewrite the commerce playbook” with mobile finishing with $US13 billion in volume, more than double the previous year at 120%.  This was partly driven by increased adoption of eBay’s apps, which attracted more than 4 million new customers in 2012, the company said.

Mr Donahoe said PayPal mobile handled almost $US14 billion in payment volume, more than triple the prior year.

“In 2013, we expect each to exceed $20 billion.”

This payment volume from PayPal was up more than 250%, eBay reported, as more consumers used their smartphones and tablets to pay online.  Its active account grew by 15% ending the year with roughly 123 million registered accounts, with 2 million accounts added a month in the fourth quarter.  eBay said this represented the company’s fastest active account growth rate in years.  Key drivers included more businesses and people signing up (“continued adoption”) and geographic expansion.

Marketplace recorded $US2 billion revenue from the fourth quarter, a record amount, eBay said.


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