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Friday, 19 July, 2002, 05:00 GMT 06:00 UK
Optimistic eBay's profits double
Ebay logo
Profits have more than doubled at eBay, the online auction firm whose drive into new markets shows no sign of slowing.

EBay reported net income profits of $54.3m (34.5m) for the three months to end-June, more than double what it earned a year before, and was one of the few firms reporting on Thursday to be unreservedly bullish.

"A few quarters ago it was not entirely clear what the impact of the economic slowdown would be on our business," chief financial officer Rajiv Dutta said.

"Now, with a few quarters under our belt, we can say that it certainly hasn't hurt our business."

EBay, which has recently gone through a phase of aggressive expansion and acquisitions, is one of the few dot.coms that enjoying strong profit growth.

Cautious optimism

Market reaction to the news was muted, since eBay had pre-announced the figures when it acquired online payment firm Paypal earlier in the month.

Investors were reportedly disappointed that the firm had no fresh news to report since then.

"I think it shows that the company's rate of growth is slowing," said Safa Rashtchy of US Bancorp Piper Jaffray.

"It is still a great company, but the element of surprise is gone and that will put the stock price under pressure since investors pay a premium for that upside."

Other analysts argued that eBay's growth remained robust but that the company had always tried to underplay expectations.

The firm's internal rates of growth, meanwhile, remain strong.

The company said it hosted 145.2 million auction listings during the quarter, up 47% year on year.

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