By Evelyn Rusli
eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) squeezed past the Street’s expectations, reporting first quarter profits of 42 cents a share (or $554.2 million) on revenues of $2.2 billion, analysts were looking for profits of 41 cents a share. Revenues gained 9% from the year ago, thanks to a jump in sales in the Payments and the Marketplace businesses. Gross margins dropped slightly to 30.6% in the period, down from 30.7%, driven by growth in PayPal (a relatively lower-margin business). “We are improving the fundamentals of our business, strengthening eBay Marketplaces and aggressively growing PayPal to
become the leader in global online payments,” CEO John Donahoe said in the press release.
The company’s Payments division achieved a record first quarter as PayPal gained increased traction on eBay. Some key numbers: overall payment volume rose 35% to $21.3 billion, sales advanced 26% to $809.3 million. In the release, eBay said it remains “focused on consumer and merchant adoption on and off eBay, expansion of PayPal’s open platform initiative and the ongoing integration of Bill Me Later.”