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Wed Jan 20 2010 16:21:52

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay's conference call with analysts is at 5:00 pm Eastern today, here is the company's press release announcing fourth quarter and full-year results for 2009, you can view full release with table's on eBay's investor website. Note: see bottom of this post for links to AuctionBytes' coverage.

SAN JOSE, Calif. - eBay Inc. (Nasdaq:EBAY) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2009. The e-commerce company posted fourth-quarter revenue of $2.4 billion, up 16% from the same period last year. This includes revenue of $112.0 million from Skype for the period that we fully owned it. Excluding Skype from the fourth quarter of 2008 and the fourth quarter of 2009, revenue growth would have been 19%. The year-over-year increase was due primarily to excellent growth in PayPal and StubHub and improvement in growth rates in the core eBay business, as well as the positive impact from foreign currency movements. The company recorded net income on a GAAP basis of $1.4 billion or $1.02 per diluted share, and non-GAAP net income of $585.8 million or $0.44 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2009.

"Reconciliation of Operating Cash Flows to Free Cash Flow"

For the full year, eBay Inc. posted $8.7 billion in revenue, net income on a GAAP basis of $2.4 billion or $1.83 per diluted share, and non-GAAP net income of $2.1 billion or $1.58 per diluted share.

GAAP operating margin decreased to 7.6% for the quarter, compared to 22.3% for the same period last year. The year-over-year decrease in GAAP operating margin was due primarily to the impact from a settlement agreement between Skype, Joltid and entities controlled by its founders. Non-GAAP operating margin decreased to 29.3% for the quarter, compared to 32.8% for the same period last year. The decrease in non-GAAP operating margin was caused in part by recent acquisitions and the company's continuing shift in the mix of its businesses, partially offset by productivity gains.

eBay Inc. generated $770.6 million of operating cash flow and $597.7 million of free cash flow during the fourth quarter.

"We delivered a strong fourth quarter with double-digit revenue growth driven by exceptional performance at PayPal and turnaround progress and momentum in our core eBay business," said eBay Inc. President and CEO John Donahoe. "PayPal significantly expanded its presence globally and, for the first time, processed more than $20 billion in total payment volume in a quarter. Gross merchandise volume and sold items accelerated for the third consecutive quarter. We are starting 2010 with significant progress against our three-year growth strategies for PayPal and eBay and a clear focus on our priorities going forward."  



Quarterly Business Unit Discussion

Payments

The Payments business unit reported $795.6 million in revenue for the quarter, an increase of 28% year over year. Net total payment volume (TPV) for the quarter was $21.4 billion, an increase of 34% year over year. The growth in revenue and TPV was driven primarily by continued momentum in PayPal's Merchant Services business and growth on the eBay platform. PayPal continued to increase its penetration on eBay and across other e-commerce platforms. The Payments business plans to remain focused on continuing consumer and merchant adoption on and off eBay, expansion of PayPal's open platform initiative and ongoing integration of Bill Me Later onto eBay.

Marketplaces

The Marketplaces business unit, which consists of eBay, Shopping.com, StubHub, Kijiji and other e-commerce sites, recorded $1.5 billion in revenue for the quarter, a 15% year-over-year increase. Marketplaces net transaction revenue increased 17% year over year. The Marketplaces business unit benefited from strong growth in its fixed-price format, the continuing success of its highest rated sellers, and double-digit organic growth in sold items. Marketplaces continued to benefit from growth in its international business, which accounted for approximately 60% of Marketplaces revenue for the fourth quarter. Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) (excluding vehicles) was $14.2 billion for the quarter, an increase of 24% compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. StubHub had a particularly strong quarter driven primarily by high-profile concerts and sporting events leading to strong demand and market share gains. The Marketplaces business plans to continue to focus on trust, value and selection in its core business to drive GMV growth, and on format expansion.

Communications

On November 19, 2009, eBay Inc. completed the sale of the majority of Skype to an investor group. The company received cash proceeds of approximately $1.9 billion and a note in the principal amount of $125.0 million and retained an approximately 30 percent equity interest in Skype. On a GAAP basis, the sale resulted in a net gain of $1.4 billion recorded in interest and other income, net on our condensed consolidated statement of income. Skype contributed $112.0 million in revenue during the fourth quarter of 2009. We account for our approximately 30 percent continuing investment in Skype under the equity method of accounting.

Other Selected Financial Results

* Taxes - The GAAP effective tax rate for the quarter was 15%, compared to 22% for the fourth quarter of 2008. The non-GAAP effective tax rate was 16% for the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to 24% for the fourth quarter of 2008.

* Cash and cash equivalents and non-equity investments - The company's cash and cash equivalents and non-equity investments portfolio totaled $5.2 billion at December 31, 2009, compared to $3.2 billion at December 31, 2008.

Business Outlook

* First-quarter 2010 - eBay estimates net revenues in the range of $2.1 billion to $2.2 billion, representing growth of 12% to 18% excluding the 2009 impact of Skype. The company also estimates GAAP earnings per diluted share in the range of $0.29 to $0.31 and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share in the range of $0.39 to $0.41, representing growth of 8% to 13% excluding the 2009 impact of Skype.

* Full-year 2010 - eBay estimates net revenues in the range of $8.8 billion to $9.1 billion, representing growth of 9% to 12% excluding the 2009 impact of Skype. The company also estimates GAAP earnings per diluted share in the range of $1.29 to $1.34 and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share in the range of $1.63 to $1.68, representing growth of 11% to 14% excluding the 2009 impact of Skype.

Quarterly Conference Call

eBay will host a conference call to discuss fourth quarter and full year 2009 results at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time today. A live webcast of the conference call, together with a slide presentation that includes supplemental financial information and reconciliations of certain non-GAAP measures to their nearest comparable GAAP measures, can be accessed through the company's Investor Relations web site at http://investor.ebayinc.com. In addition, an archive of the webcast will be accessible through the same link.

About eBay Inc.

Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) connects millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, the world's largest online marketplace, and PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive online payments. We also reach millions through specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world's largest ticket marketplace, and eBay Classifieds, which together has presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. For more information about the company and our global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release includes the following financial measures defined as "non-GAAP financial measures" by the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC: non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP earnings per diluted share, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP effective tax rate, and free cash flow. These measures may be different from non-GAAP financial measures used by other companies. The presentation of this financial information, which is not prepared under any comprehensive set of accounting rules or principles, is not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. For a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to the nearest comparable GAAP measures, see "Non-GAAP Measures of Financial Performance," "Reconciliation of GAAP Operating Margin to Non-GAAP Operating Margin," "Reconciliation of GAAP Net Income to Non-GAAP Net Income," "Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Effective Tax Rate," "Reconciliation of Operating Cash Flows to Free Cash Flow" and "Business Outlook" included in this press release.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to, among other things, the future performance of eBay and its consolidated subsidiaries that are based on our current expectations, forecasts and assumptions and involve risks and uncertainties. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding expected financial results for the first quarter and full year 2010, the focus of the Payments and Marketplaces business units going forward and future growth in the Marketplaces and Payments businesses. The company's actual results could differ materially from those predicted or implied and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: the further impact of the credit crisis, continued or worsening economic downturn and other changes in political, business and economic conditions, including any interest rates and conditions that affect consumer confidence or e-commerce growth; fluctuations in foreign exchange rates; the company's ability to profitably integrate, manage and grow businesses that have been acquired recently or may be acquired in the future; the company's need to increasingly achieve growth from its existing users, particularly in its more established markets; the company's ability to deal with the increasingly competitive e-commerce environment, including competition for its sellers from other trading sites and other means of selling, and competition for its buyers from other merchants, online and offline; the company's need to manage an increasingly large enterprise with a broad range of businesses of varying degrees of maturity and in many different geographies; the effect of management changes and business initiatives; the company's need and ability to manage other regulatory, tax and litigation risks as its services are offered in more jurisdictions and applicable laws become more restrictive; any changes the company may make to its product offerings; the competitive, regulatory, credit card association-related, and other risks specific to PayPal and Bill Me Later, especially as PayPal continues to expand geographically and grow its open platform initiative; the company's ability to upgrade and develop its systems, infrastructure and customer service capabilities at reasonable cost; and the company's ability to maintain site stability and performance on all of its sites while adding new products and features in a timely fashion. The forward-looking statements in this release do not include the potential impact of any acquisitions or divestitures that may be announced and/or completed after the date hereof.

More information about factors that could affect the company's operating results is included under the captions "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in the company's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained by visiting the company's Investor Relations web site at http://investor.ebayinc.com or the SEC's web site at www.sec.gov. Undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements in this release, which are based on information available to the company on the date hereof. eBay assumes no obligation to update such statements.

Update 1/21/10: See AuctionBytes coverage of the Q4-2009 earnings report:

eBay Q4-2009 Revenue Up, But Marketplace Turnaround Uncertain (link)

eBay CEO Tells Analysts Company Will Rebalance U.S. Marketplace (link)




Comments (112) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: Complete Nonsense

Wed Jan 20 16:26:18 2010

You must be some kind of idiot if you believe ebay is actually in good shape.

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: eBay Elite

Wed Jan 20 16:36:31 2010

I think what we're seeing is that eBay's new plan is playing out. Fewer large sellers are more reliable and more desirable than lots of noisy small sellers.

Stay the course, John! You're doing wonders for my portfolio! :)))

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: gotta love it

Wed Jan 20 16:36:55 2010

I found this interesting piece of material from within an article written by Sam Gustin at the Daily Fiance. Isn't it interesting how eBay expectS it's sellers to provide a near perfect experience. Yet the company as whole can't even live up to it's own standards it sets. Practice what you preach eBay!

AS FROM THE SAM GUSTIN ARTICLE:::>>> EBay is hoping the strong holiday season -- comScore reported holiday sales were up 5% compared to last year -- will boost its bottom line for the quarter. But the company faces intense competition, most notably from Amazon, which is firing on all cylinders. Both sellers and buyers are taking notice.

In an ominous development for eBay, only 13% of people described the company as ''the best e-commerce shopping experience,'' down from 27% in March of 2009, in a poll released by Piper Jaffray last week. By contrast, Amazon was named ''the best'' by some 65% of respondents, up from 35% over the same period.
In a survey of so-called ''Power Sellers'' -- users who move a lot of products online -- Khan found that 56% sold all of their volume on eBay, down from 65% in the same poll one year ago.

Meanwhile, a survey of buyers by Wall Street analyst group MKM Partners found that ''nearly 43% of all consumers who shop online select Amazon.com as their No. 1 preferred site, by far surpassing 'other miscellaneous sites' (27.5%) and EBay (only 10.3%).''''

http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/company-news/toug
h-competition-may-dampen-ebay-earnings-despite-healthy-holid/19322208/

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: fruity

Wed Jan 20 16:37:58 2010

I think they are the Ma Bell of the internet. Their priorities has nothing to do with small business anymore. It has everything to do with stealing using small business to subsidize the kickbacks those big retailers get in and the fraud and chargebacks they don't want to put on their balance sheet.

We need to get out of this place before they kill us all. This isn't a 800 pound gorilla, this is some King Kong sized mutant flicking us against the walls.

Sometimes I think ebay is using its leverage of the community for some kind of republican agenda. Look at how it was about small business when Bush was in office, now we have Obama and its like they are willing to attack small businesses just to make sure they dont get taxed

I'm so sad

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: fruity

Wed Jan 20 16:40:02 2010

Oh yeah, ebay elite. They wont last either. Ebay listened to all those stuck ups for almost a decade given crappy service ruining it for buyers, Until they rigged the feedback system, half of them all looked like bargainland

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: gotta love it

Wed Jan 20 16:41:09 2010

@eBay Elite - I believe that you are hitting the nail right on the head. This company believes that the smaller sellers are continuing to drag their company down. Expect even more stringent and tougher guidelines set forth against smaller sellers designed to eliminate the noise once and for all this coming year.

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: vovin

Wed Jan 20 16:41:58 2010

With Paypal planning to put 21 day holds on all transactions thru ebay I have a feeling that they will soon follow ebay on the decline. A large amount of people sell on ebay when they need money basically as a internet pawn shop to pay the bills. They arent going to want to wait 21 days to get their money. I do fast turn around transactions where I need the money from one item to buy more. Waiting a long time to get it costs me a lot of money.

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: GUESS?

Wed Jan 20 16:56:16 2010

I WILL STATE THIS AGAIN!
"By complaining all the time on here is not going to get any of the companies to change their ways. Its as simple as that. The shareholders for eBay only look at the numbers and even though ebay is not turning around their business yet, they still have the overall number improvements and ALOT of Cash FLOW,,,I mean alot! Plus the shareholders are not going to take our word for the poor business practices that ebay is running because thats not how Corporate america works. We are just the last word that was lost in a big black hole a long time ago. So please stop saying "death to ebay" and "ebay's going down in 2010" This company only has positive improvements to go forward with so they are not going anywhere anytime soon! . Can you all sense the rerverse psychology here?? Im saying this to wake you folks up."

Plain and simple stop selling and buying on ebay if you have a problem with their business practices!

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: My Own Website Not Quite Paying My Bills Yet

Wed Jan 20 17:11:40 2010

"Stay the course, John! You're doing wonders for my portfolio!"

Your portfolio must be really high by now. It would have been higher if you invested somewhere else.

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: The Peanut Gallery

Wed Jan 20 17:42:56 2010

you can tell that ebay elite doesn't really own Ebay stock, its been floating between $22 and $24 for SIX months, you might want to postpone your retirement plans for a while

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: buck efay

Wed Jan 20 17:51:46 2010

Ebay elite, you are an idiot. Ebay stock is in the toilet. Shoulda bought AMZN, my man, then you'd have something to crow about. Ebay stock has never recovered from the Disruptor. It's not small sellers dragging Ebay down, look at the boards Many many complaints about TRS selling junk from China & hard to return. Buy gets 500 negs & neutrals a month, how is that good for anyone?

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: eBay Elite

Wed Jan 20 18:18:06 2010

@@Yawn@@ You naysayers should crack open the financials once in a while. I'm up over 80% in a year - and - OH MY! Even more - looks like the after hours crowd liked what they heard too! Stock is up over a point!

Right on, JD my MAN!!

EE

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: Ron

Wed Jan 20 18:24:35 2010

It's interesting that eBay is basically reporting what drove growth, to quote for their earnings report: "The year-over-year increase was due primarily to excellent growth in PayPal and StubHub and improvement in growth rates in the core eBay business, as well as the positive impact from foreign currency movements.", while at the same time, presenting non-segmented results for the core eBay marketplace.  In other words, the Marketplaces segment of the business reports combined results for eBay, Shopping.com, Stubhub and Kijiji.  It's difficult to know what percentages are contributed by what segments, although I would suspect that the eBay marketplace accounts for the large majority.  That being said, however, a significant increase in one segment like Stubhub, could mask stagnant growth in another to some degree.  But the most important comment, that about currency fluctuation, explains quite a bit.  The average value of a Euro against the US dollar for the last quarter 2008 was 1.31822 while the average value of a Euro against the US dollar for the last quarter 2009 was 1.47705, a difference of .1588 (12%).  Given that 60% of business was conducted overseas, this type of currency difference can have a large impact on perceived growth rates as reporting is done in US currency.  I'd also like to point out the large difference between GAAP and non-GAAP income for the fourth quarters 2008 and 2009 - I'm not sure what would explain this, but I'd be curious to know.  In other words, I'd be careful about accepting a simple statement of 16% growth without a deeper analysis of what explains that growth

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: My Own Website Not Quite Paying My Bills Yet

Wed Jan 20 19:07:34 2010


I guess Herb Rules couldn't post under his own ID.

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: Ebay's Slow Death

Wed Jan 20 19:11:02 2010

I just listened to the Earnings Call. What a bunch of financial slight-of-hand!  Look here (PayPal), no over here (Global Growth), but don't look there (Marketplace).

During the call section, when they took analyst's calls, Donahoe sounded disgusted when he needed to talk about Markplace, and ended saying, ''I love all my children.''  So, I guess the Ebay Marketplace is his misbehaving stepchild.

Donahoe and friends, said they were ''Pleased'' with the financial results and were optimistic about the future growth.

Here is what the Wall Street Journal site has recently posted:

''EBay's fourth-quarter profit nearly quadrupled on strength in PayPal and the core marketplace business as well as a $1.4 billion gain from the sale of Skype. The online auctioneer expects that momentum to continue in 2010, saying it expects adjusted earnings of $1.63 to $1.68 and revenue of $8.8 billion to $9.1 billion. The earnings outlook tops the $1.60 expected by Wall Street, while the revenue projection brackets the $9 billion analyst view. Shares rose 3.7% to $23.05 in late trading.''

Everybody who matters is happy!  We small Sellers are toast! And, nobody but us cares. The Titanic is going down, with the band playing, so we had better learn to swim.

I get the feeling, as mentioned previously, that we are only being tolerated on Ebay until management can squeeze the last nickel out of us.

From Donahoe's coded talking, I think tomorrow they are going to announce that store merchandise is going into core, at higher fees. Please make me wrong!

Ebay reminds me of how the whole country is at present. It is like the Corporations, Bankers and Politicians all sit up on a cloud, and they are happy!  Everything is going great for them. But, us ordinary folks down below, who are just trying to live our lives and get by, are sinking. Anybody in retail is feeling the continued squeeze from several different directions. But, most of all, consumers are tightening their grip on their money, which I don't blame them. I know we are. There is less of it, prices are rising, and the future is unknown. There is a subtle depression spreading over the ordinary folks, that things are not going to get better any time soon, and could get worse.

I have this feeling that somehow the internet retail market is going to tip this year, away from Ebay and more towards other venues. I don't know how. But, the Chaos seems to be coalescing, and I think for us small Sellers something significant is going to pop up.  

Enough rambling. I'm watching Ebay stock going up after hours, so I'm reaching for another malted milk ball. There goes my diet!

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: Marvin

Wed Jan 20 19:17:00 2010

I must be missing something here. Deduct skype and paypal holds, ebay giving works float and things don't look that good to me. Lot of impressive numbers but very misleading.

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: nora

Wed Jan 20 19:30:15 2010

EBay included on the Balance Sheet as an Asset, something called 'Funds payable and amounts due to customers'. I noticed this because of all the controversy over the 21 day holds.

'Funds payable and amounts due to customers' year end figures for the following years
(reported in thousands).

2003   $106,568
2004     331,805
2005     586,651
2006   1,159,952
2007   1,513,578
2008   1,467,962
2009   2,157,945

Is this really an asset?  Isn’t this money eBay can’t touch ‘ever’ for their own personal use? Why is this included as an asset?

This is growing into a fairly substantial sum.

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: ex silver powerseller

Wed Jan 20 19:42:53 2010

Stock still way lower then when King JD came on board, no Ebay growth since peak in 2006, no buyers, declining page views & barely any rise over q3 results, wow really kicking butt there Ebay! 16% rise over the worst quarter in the American economy in many many years ain't nothing to crow about when the competition is way ahead of where they were a year ago, with double digit growth every quarter this year.

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: J.G.

Wed Jan 20 20:26:50 2010

@Ron - I was thinking along those same lines.  At no point in the report I read did they actually say eBay core.  It was always Marketplace with all of the units in it.  So again, we still don't know how eBay core marketplace did, without kijiji, etc. If you recall, they did the same thing at the end of the third quarter, conveniently ignored eBay stores and auctions and such. And I would like to know how ebay core USA did as we are only 40@ of their business now they've gone so international.

To give credit where its due, the overall marketplace did better than I thought it would, but the eBay cheering section commenting tonight is pretty hard to take. It's almost like they're here with their talking points.  

eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results   eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

by: goldilocks

Wed Jan 20 20:36:07 2010

Nora, you are right - those amounts should be listed as a liability NOT an asset on the financial statements.  That is money owed to others - but isn't this just one more bit of proof that they crossed the ethical line a long time ago?

If you really want to understand how they can seemingly keep pulling the wool over the eyes of stock analysts and reporters with these "creative" accounting measures, watch the movie or get the book: "Enron - the Smartest Guys in the Room".  It will be a real eye-opener, I guarantee it!

The price is very right for the DVD, on Amazon (I get a perverse little thrill from posting this link!):
http://www.amazon.com/Enron-Smartest-Guys-Room/dp/B000C3L2I
O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1264036719&sr=8-1

Here's
a shortcut link for the page:
http://xrl.in/4at6

These guys are playing by Enron's rules.  But remember, in the end, even "Kenny-boy" couldn't avoid being investigated and charged for his crimes by using his "friendship" with GeeDub.

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