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EDITIONS
 Friday, 17 January, 2003, 07:35 GMT
eBay celebrates profits boom
eBay logo
The world's largest online auction site, eBay, is celebrating record results.

This company appears to still be in the hypergrowth mode

Safa Rashtchy, analyst
The firm tripled its profits to $87m (54m) in the three months to December, surpassing analyst expectations.

"We've had a terrific quarter," said eBay chief financial officer Rajiv Dutta.

And last year's success has led the online pioneer to boost its expectations for the year ahead.

An aggressive marketing campaign that promoted eBay as a mainstream holiday shopping site contributed to the accelerated growth, according to the firm's chief executive, Meg Whitman.

Fraud fears

But there has also been negative publicity surrounding fake eBay sites being used to steal credit card identities.

It is hard to assess whether these security concerns have affected customer confidence in any way.

"This company appears to still be in the hypergrowth mode," said Safa Rashtchy, an analyst at US Bancorp Piper Jaffray.

eBay is now forecasting revenues of up to $1.9bn during in 2003, $70m higher than the previous estimate.

The results announcement came after the markets had closed, but eBay shares were rising in out of hours trade.

eBay's stock has risen 22% over the last year, far outperforming its internet peers, its bluechip counterparts and the wider indexes.

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