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October 18, 2012

eBay Posts Good Third Quarter, Cautious about Holiday Season

By Oliver VanDervoort, Contributing Writer

It is hard to imagine that there are people who don’t remember when the Web was without an online retailer like eBay. The online auction and sales site has seemingly been around since the Internet went global. One of the reasons the company has managed to hang on as long as it has is because the company hasn’t really had any problems adapting and changing to the temperature of the times. 

eBay (News - Alert) just launched a rebranding of the site and the early returns seem to indicate that the company is once again ahead of its time. The site reports that it had an exceptionally strong quarter, though it has also cautioned that increased competition from online and offline retailers could mean a less than impressive Holiday season.

Image via Shutterstock

eBay released a statement in which it said that third quarter revenue rose by 15 percent to $3.4 billion. Overall profit for the site best known for online auctions rose 14 percent to $718 million and hauled in 55 cents per share. That share price was up seven cents per share over the price a year ago. eBay says that they expect fourth quarter revenue to reach $3.85 billion and could get as high as $4 billion, while Wall Street is expecting revenue for the site to get somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.94 billion.

Most people expected eBay to shoot for higher revenue during the fourth quarter, but reports that some retailers, including Target and Best Buy (News - Alert), are going to be aggressive in matching lower prices could have eBay on the defensive. Both Target and Best Buy are expected to try and match prices from (News - Alert) and that means that people won’t have to turn to sites like eBay to find lower prices this Holiday season.

Despite some less than happy reports going into the Holiday season, eBay CEO John Donahoe said that the company had more than 800,000 shoppers use the site for the first time in the third quarter of this year. "While I'm pleased with the acceleration, I'm not satisfied," Donahoe said in a recent conference call. "There's no reason why our active users should not double over the next three to five years."

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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