January 19, 2011, 4:52 PM

eBay sales increase 5.6% in Q4

The company also reported sales increased 10.7% for the full year.

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The value of merchandise sold on eBay Inc.’s marketplace, excluding vehicles, increased 5.6% year over year in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, eBay Inc. reported today. Marketplace sales increased 10.7% in 2010 over the previous year. Lazard Capital analyst Colin Sebastian said eBay marketplace growth was slow and steady even as eBay continues to lose ground to Amazon and Google, though he expects that gap to narrow.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, eBay reported:

  • The value of goods sold through eBay’s online marketplaces, excluding autos, increased 5.6% in the fourth quarter to $15.04 billion from $14.24 billion in the same quarter last year. 62.9% of marketplace revenue came from outside the U.S.
  • Fixed-price sales represented 62% of marketplace volume compared with 56% a year earlier, reflecting eBay’s shift away from the auction format as more large and midsized retailers use eBay as a platform to sell merchandise at set prices.
  • Active users of eBay’s marketplaces totaled 94.5 million, up 4.9% from 90.1 million a year earlier. The company defines active users are those who have listed, bid or bought a product on eBay in the previous 12 months.
  • Payment volume increased 25.8% year over year to $26.87 billion, of which 61.5% came from the company’s PayPal-branded merchant services unit that handles off-eBay payments for e-retailers. Payments with eBay’s PayPal payment service itself accounted for 36.8% of the volume and Bill Me Later accounted for 1.7% of total payment volume.
  • Active users of eBay’s payment services, which include consumers with PayPal or Bill Me Later accounts, increased 16.5% year over year to 94.4 million from 81.0 million a year ago.
  • EBay’s total Q4 revenue rose 5.5% to $2.50 billion from $2.37 billion a year ago.
  • EBay’s payment units contributed $971 million, or 38.9%, of the company’s Q4 net revenue. The company’s marketplaces unit contributed $1.52 billion.
  • Q4 net income was $559 million, down 58.9% from $1.36 billion a year ago. The company said it recognized a gain from the sale of Skype during Q4 2009, which was reflected in that quarter’s net income.  Excluding the Skype sale, eBay says its net income was up 24% in the fourth quarter of 2010 versus the prior-year quarter.

"We delivered a strong fourth quarter and a solid year, driven by our customer focus, commitment to technology-led innovation and our operating discipline" says John Donahoe, eBay president and CEO.  “We are driving strong global growth at PayPal and strengthening our core eBay business, and we are innovating quickly in areas such as mobile, which is helping to position us at the forefront of trends shaping the future of shopping and payments.”

In December, PayPal said it was on track to process $700 million in mobile payment volume for all of 2010, up from $141 million in 2009.

For the full 2010 fiscal year ended Dec. 31, eBay reported:

  • The value of goods sold through eBay’s online marketplaces, excluding autos, increased 10.7% in 2010 to $53.53 billion from $48.35 billion in 2009. 58.1% of marketplace revenue was from outside the U.S.
  • EBay’s 2010 revenue rose 4.9% to $9.16 billion from $8.73 billion a year ago.
  • 2010 net income was $1.80 billion, down 24.7% from $2.39 billion a year ago. The company said it recognized a gain from the sale of Skype during Q4 2009, which was reflected in that quarter’s net income.  
  • Payment volume increased 28.4% during 2010 to $91.96 billion from $71.61 billion in 2009, of which 60.9% came from the company’s merchant services unit. Payments with eBay’s PayPal payment service accounted for 37.8% of the volume and Bill Me Later accounted for 1.4% of total payment volume.
  • EBay’s payment units contributed $3.44 billion, or 37.6%, of the company’s net revenue. The company’s marketplaces unit contributed $5.72 billion, or 62.4%.
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