eBay's US sales grow only 3.4% in 2016

eBay's US sales grow only 3.4% in 2016

eBay's US sales grow only 3.4% in 2016

The FINANCIAL -- eBay Inc delivered gross merchandise volume (GMV) for the quarter ended December 31, 2016 of $22.3 billion, increasing 5% on a foreign exchange (FX) neutral basis and 2% on an as-reported basis. Revenue for the quarter was $2.4 billion, up 6% on an FX-Neutral basis and 3% on an as-reported basis.

During the quarter, eBay delivered GAAP net income from continuing operations of $5.9 billion, or $5.31 per diluted share, driven by a non-cash $4.6 billion income tax benefit related to a legal structure realignment, primarily impacting its international entities, as well as a $0.8 billion gain from the sale of its equity holdings of MercadoLibre, Inc. Non-GAAP net income from continuing operations was $601 million, or $0.54 per diluted share. During the quarter, the company generated $620 million of operating cash flow and $484 million of free cash flow from continuing operations, inclusive of a $272 million cash tax payment related to the sale of its equity holdings of MercadoLibre, Inc. The company also repurchased $1.0 billion of its common stock in the quarter, according to eBay.

"Q4 was a record quarter highlighted by solid performance in our eBay business. During the holiday season, eBay was one of the top consumer shopping destinations in the world and the second most visited eCommerce site in the U.S.," said Devin Wenig, President and CEO of eBay Inc. "In 2017, we intend to accelerate the progress that we made last year as we continue to execute our business strategy."

In the fourth quarter, eBay added two million active buyers across its platforms, for a total of 167 million global active buyers. Underlying total eBay Inc. performance, the Marketplace platforms delivered $21.1 billion of GMV and $1.9 billion of revenue. Marketplace revenue was up 4% on an FX-Neutral basis and flat on an as-reported basis, driven by a strong holiday season which led to accelerating GMV growth of 5% on an FX-Neutral basis and 2% on an as-reported basis. StubHub had a record quarter with GMV of $1.2 billion, up 5%, and revenue of $279 million, up 20%, with strength in its baseball and theater genres. The Classifieds platforms delivered another quarter of double digit growth with revenue of $201 million, up 13% on an FX-Neutral basis and 10% on an as-reported basis with strong performance in Germany.

Marketplace delivered record results as a leading holiday shopping destination, and its mobile platform, with user reviews at all-time highs, crossed $10 billion of volume for the first time ever. StubHub launched on Apple TV, further advancing its efforts to enable consumers to buy event tickets anytime, and anywhere. Classifieds, a global leader with over 250 million monthly unique visitors, saw strong momentum in their Automotive and Real Estate verticals, while expanding its inventory integration with the eBay Marketplace platform to Gumtree in the United Kingdom and eBay Kleinanzeigen in Germany.

For the full year 2016, eBay Inc.'s commerce platforms connected millions of buyers and sellers around the world across billions of transactions, leading to total GMV of $84 billion, up 5% on an FX-Neutral basis and 3% on an as-reported basis. Revenue was $9.0 billion, growing 7% on an FX-Neutral basis and 5% on an as-reported basis. The company delivered strong operating and free cash flow on a continuing operations basis, generating $2.8 billion and $2.2 billion, respectively, during 2016. eBay also returned $3.0 billion of capital to shareholders through repurchases of its common stock.

Other Selected Financial and Operational Results

Operating margin — GAAP operating margin decreased to 26.6% for the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to 28.5% for the same period last year. Non-GAAP operating margin decreased to 31.9% in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to 34.4% for the same period last year.

Taxes — The GAAP effective tax rate for continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2016 was (196.8)%, driven by a $4.6 billion income tax benefit related to a legal structure realignment, primarily impacting its international entities, compared to 19.5% for the fourth quarter of 2015. The non-GAAP effective tax rate for continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2016 was 24.4%, compared to 23.8% for the fourth quarter of 2015.

Cash flow — The company generated $620 million of operating cash flow from continuing operations and $484 million of free cash flow from continuing operations during the fourth quarter of 2016.

Stock repurchase program — The company repurchased approximately $1.0 billion of its common stock, or 34.6 million shares, in the fourth quarter of 2016. The company's total repurchase authorization remaining as of December 31, 2016 was $1.3 billion.

Cash and cash equivalents and non-equity investments — The company's cash and cash equivalents and non-equity investments portfolio totaled $11.0 billion as of December 31, 2016.

Business Outlook

First quarter 2017 — The company expects net revenue between $2.17 billion and $2.21 billion, representing FX-Neutral growth of 4% - 6%, with non-GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the range of $0.46 - $0.48 and GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the range of $0.25 - $0.40.

Full year 2017 — The company expects net revenue between $9.3 billion and $9.5 billion, representing FX-Neutral growth of 6% - 8%, with non-GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the range of $1.98 - $2.03 and GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the range of $1.20 - $1.40.