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eBay Grows GMV 7 Percent in Fourth Quarter

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eBay logoeBay grew GMV 7 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2017 on a foreign-exchange neutral basis. Eclipsing the news was eBay’s bombshell announcement that it will become a payments intermediary, as terms of its operating agreements entered into with PayPal after the breakup in 2015 start to expire.

Those who follow EcommerceBytes shouldn’t be too shocked at the news, since we reported on this in November when eBay’s Chief Financial Officer discussed it with Wall Street analysts. We’ll have more on that in the EcommerceBytes Blog shortly, here’s eBay’s press release on its performance during the last three months of 2017.

Press release follows:

eBay Inc., a global commerce leader, delivered revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2017 of $2.6 billion, increasing 9% on an as-reported basis and 7% on a foreign exchange (FX) neutral basis, primarily driven by gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $24.4 billion, up 10% on an as-reported basis and 7% on an FX-Neutral basis.

During the quarter, eBay delivered GAAP net loss from continuing operations of $2.6 billion, or $(2.51) per diluted share primarily driven by a $3.1 billion tax charge attributable to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Non-GAAP net income from continuing operations was $618 million, or $0.59 per diluted share. The company generated $988 million of operating cash flow and $796 million of free cash flow from continuing operations while also repurchasing $922 million of its common stock in the quarter.

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“Q4 was a record quarter for eBay, representing the fifth quarter in a row of volume acceleration in our US Marketplace,” said Devin Wenig, President and CEO of eBay Inc. “We have made great progress transforming eBay while delivering meaningful growth and we expect further acceleration in 2018 as we continue to execute our strategy.”

In the fourth quarter, eBay grew active buyers by 5% across its platforms, for a total of 170 million global active buyers. Underlying total eBay Inc. performance, the Marketplace platforms delivered $23.0 billion of GMV and $2.1 billion of revenue. Marketplace GMV was up 9% on an as-reported basis and 6% on an FX-Neutral basis, driven by strong holiday performance in the US and continued expansion of new user experiences, which led to revenue growth of 8% on an as-reported basis and 6% on an FX-Neutral basis. StubHub drove GMV of $1.4 billion, up 16% on an as-reported basis and 15% on an FX-Neutral basis, and revenue of $307 million, up 10% on both an as-reported basis and FX-Neutral basis driven by a strong concerts and sports landscape. Classifieds platforms delivered another quarter of double-digit growth with revenue of $244 million, up 21% on an as-reported basis and 13% on an FX-Neutral basis, driven primarily by strength in Germany.

For the full year 2017, eBay Inc. delivered revenue of $9.6 billion, growing 7% on both an as-reported basis and FX-Neutral basis primarily driven by GMV of $88.4 billion, up 6% on both an as-reported basis and FX-Neutral basis. The company delivered strong operating and free cash flow on a continuing operations basis, generating $3.1 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively, during 2017. eBay also returned $2.7 billion of capital to shareholders through repurchases of its common stock.

Other Selected Financial and Operational Results

– Operating margin — GAAP operating margin decreased to 25.4% for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to 26.6% for the same period last year. Non-GAAP operating margin decreased to 30.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to 31.9% for the same period last year.

– Taxes — The GAAP effective tax rate for continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2017 was 563%, compared to (197)% for the fourth quarter of 2016. The non-GAAP effective tax rate for continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2017 was 19%, compared to 24% for the fourth quarter of 2016.

– Cash flow — The company generated $988 million of operating cash flow from continuing operations and $796 million of free cash flow from continuing operations during the fourth quarter of 2017.

– Stock repurchase program — The company repurchased approximately $922 million of its common stock, or 25 million shares, in the fourth quarter of 2017. The company’s total repurchase authorization remaining as of December 31, 2017 was $1.7 billion.

– Cash and cash equivalents and non-equity investments — The company’s cash and cash equivalents and non-equity investments portfolio totaled $11.3 billion as of December 31, 2017.

Business Outlook
Please note that eBay’s 2018 Business Outlook includes the impact of adopting the Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers.

Exhibit A, included in this document, presents a reconciliation of the impact of adoption on eBay’s 2017 and 2016 Income Statement to enable investors to better understand normalized growth comparisons for the company’s 2018 Business Outlook.

– First quarter 2018 — The company expects net revenue between $2.57 billion and $2.61 billion, representing FX-Neutral growth of 7% – 9%, with GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the range of $0.37 – $0.41 and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the range of $0.52 – $0.54.

– Full year 2018 — The company expects net revenue between $10.9 billion and $11.1 billion, representing FX-Neutral growth of 7% – 9%, with GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the range of $1.65 – $1.75 and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the range of $2.25 – $2.30.

In January 2018, eBay’s board of directors authorized an additional $6.0 billion stock repurchase program, with no expiration from the date of authorization. The company’s stock repurchase program is intended to programmatically offset the impact of dilution from its equity compensation programs and, subject to market conditions and other factors, to make opportunistic and programmatic repurchases of its common stock to reduce its outstanding share count. Any share repurchases under the company’s stock repurchase programs may be made through open market transactions, block trades, privately negotiated transactions (including accelerated share repurchase transactions) or other means at times and in such amounts as management deems appropriate and will be funded from the company’s working capital or other financing alternatives.

See the full press release, including charts, on the eBay Investor Relations website:

SOURCE: eBay Press Release

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.