EBay losses in Q3 hit $936m on Skype charges

EBay reported a third-quarter net loss of more than $936 million, a rare plunge into the red for the e-commerce juggernaut caused by charges to its Skype telecommunications division, an Associated Press report said.

But eBay still easily exceeded Wall Street's expectations for the quarter ended September 30, thanks to record revenue of $1.89 billion, up 30% from the year-ago quarter, the Associated Press report said.

The report said executives credited record revenue at the PayPal electronic payment division, and brisk sales outside of the US and at ticket broker StubHub.com.

Early this month, eBay announced it would take a $900 million write-down in the value of Skype. That impairment charge essentially acknowledged that eBay executives drastically overvalued the $2.6 billion Skype acquisition, completed in October 2005, the report said.

EBay also paid certain Skype shareholders $530 million to settle future obligations, it added.

Including the Skype charges, eBay lost $936.6 million. In the year-ago quarter, it earned $280.9 million.

Not counting Skype charges, stock-based compensation and other expenses, eBay earned $563.8 million, up 53% from $367.4 million, in the year-ago quarter, the report further said.

The company expects fourth-quarter revenue from $2.1 billion to $2.15 billion, the report said.