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More Buyers and Stubhub Help eBay Beat Earnings Expectations

This story originally appeared on Reuters

EBay Inc. reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Tuesday and raised its full-year revenue forecast as a revamped shopping platform attracted more buyers, mitigating growth concerns following its spinoff of PayPal Holdings Inc.

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The ecommerce company has been executing its plan to offer a bigger selection of products, new brands and more small-business sellers on its platform, along with getting sellers to offer detailed product data and reviews, Chief Executive Devin Wenig said on a conference call.

"One of the key foundational changes we're making to our marketplace platform to drive the most relevance, is the shift to be more product-based," he said.

For example, eBay has signed a deal with Adidas AG to open showrooms on its platform across key European markets later this year.

EBay, which spun off its main growth engine PayPal last July, has tackled slowing growth in its core business by overhauling its platform, search functions and refocusing on small-scale sellers.

The company said its gross merchandise volume, or the total value of all goods sold on its sites, rose 1 percent to $20.45 billion in the first quarter ended March 31.

The number of active buyers rose 3.8 percent to 162 million.

Much of the company’s growth also came from Stubhub, its ticket reseller subsidiary, and its classifieds business. Stubhub posted revenue of $177 million, up 34 percent from the same period last year, while classifieds grew 15 percent year-over-year with sales of $186 million.

EBay forecast current-quarter revenue of $2.14 billion to $2.19 billion and adjusted profit from continuing operations of 40 to 42 cents per share.

Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $2.14 billion and profit of 44 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

EBay said it expected full-year revenue of $8.6 billion-$8.8 billion, compared with its prior forecast of $8.5 billion to $8.8 billion.

First-quarter net income fell to $482 million, or 41 cents per share, compared with $626 million, or 51 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, eBay earned 47 cents per share.

Revenue rose 3.7 percent to $2.14 billion.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 45 cents per share and revenue of $2.08 billion.

EBay shares rose 4 percent immediately after the bell but later traded flat. So far this year, the company's shares have fallen nearly 11 percent.

(Reporting by Sai Sachin R in Bengaluru and Nandita Bose in Chicago; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Matthew Lewis)