eBay reports 24% profit increase in Q4

Online auction giant eBay reported that fourth-quarter profit increased 24 % from the same period last year, trouncing Wall Street estimates and prompting executives to raise estimates for the current quarter, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said strong holiday sales, particularly in eBay's traditional strongholds of the US, UK and Germany, the online auction company earned $349 million for the three months ended December 31. It earned $279 million in the year-ago period.

eBay shares increased $1.38, or nearly 5%, to close at $30 on the Nasdaq Stock Market before the earnings report was released. It jumped to $33.05, up an additional 10.2%, in after-market trading, the report said.

Fourth-quarter revenue totaled $1.72 billion, up 29% from $1.33 billion in the year-ago period, the report added.

Excluding charges unrelated to ongoing operations, eBay earned $431 million, up nearly 27 % from the same quarter last year, when eBay earned $340 million.

On that basis, which does not comply with generally accepted accounting principles, eBay was expected to earn $402 million, on sales of $1.67 billion, according to analysts polled by Thomson Financial, the report said.