Shares of eBay Inc. rose Thursday after the company's second-quarter results dispelled some of the fears that had weighed the stock down significantly over the past three months.
EBay reported a 26% gain in net earnings Wednesday, with revenue slightly higher than Wall Street's consensus forecast. The gains were driven by a continued strong performance at its PayPal Inc. unit as well as some improvements in its core auction business.
While not blowing away forecasts, the results were enough to calm some of the worst fears among investors, who had sold off eBay's shares to the point of pushing the stock down more than 20% since its last earnings report.
EBay's brightest spot was its online payments unit, where revenue climbed 22%, to $817 million. Compared with a year earlier, PayPal had 16% more active registered users, and a 28% increase in total payment volume.
"PayPal is the growth engine," said Sandeep Aggarwal, an analyst at Caris & Co. "It has virtually no visible threat so far from the competition." Still, he said investors have largely priced PayPal's potential into the value of the stock.
EBay said its core Marketplace business saw revenue grow by 11%, to $1.4 billion. Gross merchandise volume rose 2% in the U.S. and 20% in international markets, excluding vehicle sales.
At midday Thursday, eBay shares were at $21.16, up 4.91% from Wednesday's closing price.