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As eBay gets increasing pressure from activist shareholder Elliott Management to reform its business and turn it into a high-growth tech stock by overhauling its main Marketplace, refreshing management and rethinking its other businesses like StubHub and classifieds, the e-commerce platform delivered a set of Q4 results that were solid if a little lacklustre.
The company today said that for the quarter that ended December 31, it posted revenues of $2.9 billion with non-GAAP net income of $670 million or $0.71 per share. On both counts, it just beat analyst expectations, which were respectively $2.87 billion on EPS of $0.68. But as a sign of the flagging business that Elliot has been highlighting, gross merchandise volumes were $24.6 billion, up just one percent on a year ago, even as revenues rose six percent.
Concession - Elliott - Requests - Reform - EBay
In what might be a small concession to Elliott’s requests for reform, eBay said repurchased approximately $1.5 billion of its common stock in the quarter, and that it plans to “return approximately $7 billion to shareholders through dividends and repurchases over the next two years, with approximately $5.5 billion to be returned in 2019.”
It also provided some guidance for the full year: net revenues will be between $10.7 billion and $10.9 billion, growing between just 1 percent and 3 percent, with GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the range of $1.83 – $1.93 and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the range of $2.62 – $2.68.
Earnings - Quarter - Year - Devin - Wenig
“We delivered record earnings for the fourth quarter and full year 2018,” said Devin Wenig, President and CEO of eBay Inc., in a statement. “In 2019, our focus will be on further improvements to the eBay user experience, while pursuing significant long-term growth opportunities in advertising...
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