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EBay website tweaks drive strong holiday sales, shares jump

Reuters

(Reuters) - EBay Inc posted higher revenue for the key holiday quarter on Wednesday after tweaks to its websites and a focus on marketing drew more shoppers to its marketplaces.

Shares of the San Jose, California-based e-commerce company climbed more than 7 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

EBay has been modifying its platforms including its namesake shopping service to include grouped listings and a simpler payment process to lure shoppers amid stiff competition from Amazon.com Inc .

EBay said its gross merchandise volume — the value of all goods sold on its websites — rose 9.7 percent to $24.43 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. Sales and marketing expenses rose 13.3 percent to $689 million.

For the quarter ending March, eBay forecast revenue between $2.57 billion and $2.61 billion and adjusted earnings of 52 cents to 54 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 52 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 9.1 percent to $2.61 billion. EBay recorded a $2.6 billion loss for the quarter because of a one-time $3.1 billion charge from the recent changes in U.S. tax laws.

Excluding one-time items, eBay earned 59 cents per share.

EBay also announced a $6 billion share buyback program.

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Sai Sachin Ravikumar)