eBay just reported first quarter earnings this afternoon, beating expectations. Non-GAAP earnings increased 11%, to $899 million or $0.70 per diluted share, over the prior year, driven by strong top line growth, says the company. Revenue for the first quarter increased 14% to $4.3 billion, compared to the same period in 2013.
The company posted a first quarter GAAP loss of ($2.3) billion or ($1.82) per diluted share due to a tax charge of approximately $3 billion.
Analysts expected earnings of $0.67 per share on sales of $4.22 billion.
“We delivered a strong first quarter, with enabled commerce volume up 24 percent and revenue up 14 percent,” said eBay President and CEO John Donahoe in a release. “We are committed to delivering sustainable shareholder value and focusing on what matters most to our investors. We are executing our growth plans, capitalizing on the synergies in our portfolio and aggressively executing our $5 billion share buyback program. Today, we also announced a non-cash tax charge to facilitate repatriation of $6 billion net in foreign earnings, increasing our available U.S. cash and enhancing our financial flexibility.”
eBay’s Marketplace business saw gross merchandise volume (GMV) grow 12%, with the U.S. up 11% and International up 13%. Revenue grew to $2.2 billion and marketplaces gained 4.7 million new buyers to end the quarter with 145 million active buyers, up 14%. Marketplaces now has over over 650 million listings.
PayPal’s total payment volume (TPV) grew 27% with Merchant Services volume up 32% and on-eBay volume up 15%. Revenue grew to $1.8 billion and PayPal gained 5.8 million new active registered accounts to end the quarter at 148 million, up 16%.
Total company enabled commerce volume increased 24% in the first quarter to $58 billion, with mobile volume up 70% to $11 billion representing 19% of volume.
eBay Enterprise gross merchandise sales (GMS) grew 16%, with revenue at $269 million for the quarter.
Coming off of a busy holiday season, the company’s quarter has been marked by a now settled battle with activist shareholder and investor Carl Icahn over his belief that PayPal should be spun off, or sold. Icahn also issued a number of accusations around board mismanagement. In the end, Icahn settled the board fight with eBay, and he and the company added a mutually agreed upon board member, David W. Dorman, a former chief executive of AT&T, to the board.
In terms of product, eBay has been attempting to add think more creatively when it comes to ecommerce and marketplaces. The company is reportedly going to launch “The Plaza,” an online mall for retail goods; and acquired PhiSix to integrate virtual try on technology into its marketplace. eBay also saw some layoffs hit its Magento ecommerce software division.
We’ll be listening to the call and will update with notable comments.