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eBay just barely beat profit expectations, but it should focus more on emerging markets

AP Photo/Manu Fernandez
It’s all go.
By Lily Kuo
IndiaPublished Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The numbers: E-commerce giant eBay barely beat expectations today when it reported profit of $0.63 per share (pdf) compared to forecasts of $0.62 for the first three months of the year. The company’s revenues were also slightly lower than expected at $3.75 billion. Sales and profit both showed a 14% increase, compared to the same period a year earlier.

The takeaway: eBay was able to beat expectations because of growth in its payment system, PayPal, and its platform for buying, selling and auctioning goods, Marketplace. Paypal brought in $1.55 billion in revenue, an increase of 18% year on year, while Marketplace brought in $1.96 billion, a 13% rise. The company is trying to expand its shopping and payment mobile products, which it says will double PayPal’s revenues by 2015.

What’s interesting: Slightly more of eBay’s revenues came from overseas than in the US—$1.96 billion compared to $1.79 billion—a sign it has potential abroad. A survey by Jana, which researches mobile phone usage, showed that shoppers in India, Kenya, Nigeria, the Philippines, and South Africa all named eBay as one of their favorite websites for shopping online. Given how many more people in emerging markets are using mobile phones to make payments, eBay should focus on doing more to reach them.

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