Sales forecasted by eBay top estimates

THE world’s largest online marketplace, eBay, forecast sales that topped analysts’ estimates, spurred by growing demand for its PayPal payment service and the company’s recent spate of acquisitions.

Third-quarter revenue will be $2.85 billion (€2bn) to $2.95bn, the company said last night. Excluding some costs, profit will be 46 cents to 47 cents a share. Analysts had projected revenue of $2.71bn billion and earnings of 48 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Chief executive John Donahoe, leading a turnaround of the e-commerce company, has made at least nine acquisitions in the past year to expand into new businesses. eBay is adding to its stable of mobile-payment services with the $240 million purchase of Zong Inc, a deal announced this month. It’s also building relationships with big retailers through its March acquisition of GSI Commerce Inc. for $2.4bn.

“Second quarter revenue and earnings were strong, with PayPal surpassing 100 million active registered accounts and reporting its first billion-dollar revenue quarter, and eBay growth in the US accelerating,” said Donahoe.

“We also strengthened our portfolio in Q2 with acquisitions that we believe will more broadly position us to enable the future of commerce. We will partner with retailers of all sizes to help them grow in a rapidly shifting, technology-driven multichannel commerce environment, and we will help consumers shop and pay anytime, anywhere, any way.”

eBay fell 59 cents to $33.17 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading yesterday in New York.

The company’s PayPal business delivered strong second quarter performance, expanding its leadership position in global payments. PayPal ended the quarter with 100.3 million active registered accounts, a 15% increase year over year. PayPal’s net total payment volume grew 34% to $28.7 billion in the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same period of last year.

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