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Friday, 19 January, 2001, 00:35 GMT
EBay profits surge
eBay logo
EBay: Registered users have more than doubled in a year
The online auctioneer EBay has defied the gloom surrounding internet stocks, reporting a sixfold rise in profits.

The San Jose, California-based company said it earned $23.9m in the fourth quarter of last year, up from a restated $3.8m in the corresponding period of 1999.

"Our fourth quarter results capped off a year of record success across all metrics, including gross merchandise sales, listings growth, user growth, revenues and profits," chief executive Meg Whitman said in a statement.

"We are extremely pleased with the strength of our business and with the tremendous momentum we have going into the new year."

Upbeat prospects

EBay said fourth-quarter revenues were up 81% at $134m.

The company was also among the very few tech companies offering an upbeat assessment of future prospects.

It said full-year 2001 revenues might reach $665m, compared with $431.4m in 2000. First quarter 2001 revenues were expected to be about $150m.

EBay said it had added 3.5 million registered users in September-December 2000, taking the total to 22.5 million - 125% more than the 10 million registered at the end of 1999.

Gross merchandise sales - the value of goods traded on the site - stood at $1.6bn for the quarter, an improvement of 79% from the same quarter of 1999.

The number of auctions hosted was 79.4 million against 41 million last time.

'Unique location'

"EBay is one of the unique locations on the internet where there truly is an advantage to all parties that come," ABN Amro analyst Kevin Silverman said.

EBay's numbers will encourage investors in the internet sector, who are becoming an increasingly intrepid breed.

Company valuations collapsed during 2000 and the Nasdaq market, home to many tech and internet stocks, lost 40% of its value.

EBay shares climbed $3.63 to $46.88 on Thursday and were quoted about $3 higher than that in electronic trading after the market's regular session ended.

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eBay profits romp
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