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7/22/2005
05:52 PM
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EBay Gets Its Earnings Groove Back

EBay Inc. has apparently rediscovered its E-commerce magic. After a rocky six months, it reported record quarterly earnings that helped counter market worries that it's losing its competitive edge.

For the quarter ended June 30, eBay posted a profit of $291.6 million on revenue of $1.1 billion, compared with a profit of $190.4 million on revenue of $773.4 million a year ago. That translates into 53% profit growth and a 40% rise in revenue.

Even though eBay has remained highly profitable, the combination of a below-expectations earnings report in January, complaints about rising merchant fees, and a perception that it's not doing enough to prevent fraudulent sellers from duping unsuspecting buyers has conspired to push the value of eBay stock down 40% this year.

The success of eBay's quarter was evident everywhere. International marketplace revenue was up more than 50%, to $418.8 million, fueled by the company's growth in markets such as China, France, and Italy. Payment revenue via its PayPal unit also rose more than 50%, to $243.9 million.

EBay users are proving that they can sell just about anything on eBay. More than $14 billion worth of autos, $3.3 billion worth of clothing and accessories, $3.2 billion worth of consumer electronics, $2.9 billion worth of computers, $2.5 billion worth of home and garden items, $1.6 billion worth of toys, and $1.3 billion worth of photo equipment were sold during the quarter.

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