eBay reports 10% rise in profits

US online firm eBay reported that third-quarter profit increased 10% from the same period last year, beating Wall Street's moderate expectations and encouraging executives to raise earnings forecasts for the year, according to an Associated Press report.

eBay earned $280.9 million for the three months ended September 30, compared to $254.97 million in the year-ago period, the report also said.

Revenue for the third quarter totaled $1.45 billion, up 31% from last year's $1.11 billion, the report said.

Excluding charges unrelated to ongoing operations, eBay earned $367.41 million, up nearly 24% from the same quarter last year, when eBay earned $280.16 million, it added.

On that basis, which did not comply with generally accepted accounting principles, eBay was expected to earn $342.4 million, on sales of $1.43 billion, according to analysts polled by Thomson Financial, the report said.

Excluding one-time costs, the company expected revenue in the range of $1.62 billion to $1.68 billion, the report said.

For 2006, the company expected to earn $1.01 to $1.02 per share on revenue in the range of $5.87 billion to $5.93 billion, the report further said.

That's slightly more bullish than previous predictions and Wall Street's expectations. Analysts are expecting the company to earn $5.89 billion, according to Thomson Financial.

The company predicted 2007 profits would increase at least 20% from 2006, and revenue would increase 17% to 21%, the report said.