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EBay sees income fall but results beat views

EBAY Inc said on Wednesday that the weak economy led to lower earnings and revenue for the second consecutive quarter, but the online marketplace operator's results still beat analysts' expectations.

The first-quarter numbers helped eBay shares shoot up 79 cents, or 5.4 percent, in after-hours trading, after they ended the regular session up 49 cents, or 3.4 percent, at US$14.78.

The quarterly results, however, show the San Jose, California-based company is still struggling, though - both with the recession and its efforts to improve its online marketplace.

EBay earned US$357.1 million, or 28 cents per share, in the first quarter, down 22 percent from US$459.7 million, or 34 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding items, eBay said it earned 39 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected 33 cents per share.

Revenue declined 8 percent to US$2.02 billion, just above analysts expectations of US$1.94 billion.

Revenue from eBay's marketplaces segment - which includes eBay itself and e-commerce sites such as StubHub and - fell almost 18 percent to US$1.22 billion.

The company blamed the drop on the difficult economy and the strengthened US dollar.

EBay got about 54 percent of its marketplaces revenue from outside the United States, and deals done in other currencies translate into fewer dollars when the greenback is strong.

In an interview on Wednesday, eBay Chief Executive John Donahoe said consumers spent less on fewer items during the period, buying a used item where they might have previously bought something new or a private-label shirt instead of a brand-name one.

In addition to grappling with economic headwinds, the firm has been struggling to improve its marketplaces business and said in March it has a long way to go.

For eBay's payments segment, which includes online payments service PayPal, revenue jumped nearly 11 percent to US$643 million.



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