Mobile commerce lifts eBay profits

Posted at 10/18/12 10:50 AM

SAN FRANCISCO - US online giant eBay said Wednesday third quarter profits edged up two percent from a year ago to $597 million, driven by gains in mobile shopping and payments.

The profit of 55 cents a share excluding special items was a penny ahead of Wall Street expectations. And the ecommerce firm lifted its forecast for the rest of the year.

"We had a great third quarter across our company, with Marketplaces and PayPal accelerating customer growth," said John Donahoe, eBay president and chief executive.

"Mobile continues to be a game changer for us, and we continue to be a clear leader in mobile commerce and payments. With our strong portfolio and global reach, we are consistently demonstrating our capabilities to help consumers shop anytime, anywhere. And we are enabling retailers of all sizes to compete in a rapidly evolving, multichannel commerce environment."

Revenue for the third quarter increased 15 percent from a year ago to $3.4 billion, eBay said.

The Marketplaces platform allows people and small businesses to sell items online. But its PayPal online financial transactions platform and its GSI e-commerce services arm are also growing.

PayPal ended the quarter with 117.4 million active registered accounts, up 14 percent year-over-year, and revenue increased 23 percent.

Earlier this month, eBay unveiled a new look for its website inspired by social networks, giving consumers personalized suggestions to help them sift through the huge shopping site.

The ecommerce giant with 105 million active users will start giving its users a "newsfeed" and a "personalized homepage" with recommendations based on a user's shopping history or personal interests.

The liberal use of photos on the revamped eBay site seems to mimic the fast-growing social network Pinterest. The eBay newsfeed appears inspired by Facebook and users will also get a Twitter-like option to "follow" products or brands.

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