Shares of eBay Inc. had their biggest drop in more than a year Thursday after the company posted first-quarter earnings that missed estimates.
Growth in its payments operations outstripped its e-commerce business.
Net income rose 11% year over year, to $397.7 million, or 30 cents a share, eBay said Wednesday. Excluding some costs, profit was 42 cents a share. Analysts had projected 41 cents.
The San Jose company predicted a second-quarter profit of 37 cents to 39 cents a share, excluding one-time items. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey had estimated 40 cents.
At midday Thursday, eBay shares were trading at $24.32, down 7.49% from Wednesday. Earlier they had slid as much as 9.1%, the biggest intraday drop since January 2009. The shares had gained 12% this year before Thursday.
The payments unit, made up of PayPal Inc. and Bill Me Later, is growing faster than its marketplace unit. In the first quarter, total payment volume rose 35%, to $21.3 billion, and the unit's revenue rose 26%, to $809.3 million.
Bill Me Later accounted for 1% of the unit's total payment volume. Net chargeoffs in the Bill Me Later portfolio were 9.49%, down from 11.14% in the prior quarter.
John Donahoe, eBay's chief executive, said in a press release that the company is "aggressively growing PayPal to become the leader in global online payments."
When asked during a conference call with analysts whether eBay might consider spinning off PayPal, Donahoe downplayed the suggestion, and said the company sees strong synergies between payments and its core marketplaces business.
Analysts said Donahoe is trying to stem the loss of customers to Amazon.com Inc.
Total sales in the quarter rose 8.7%, to $2.2 billion. Though that beat estimates of $2.19 billion, analysts expect eBay's e-commerce rival Amazon.com to report sales growth of about 40%.
"Buyers will continue to migrate away from eBay — taking sellers along with them — until the overall convenience and trust and safety of the eBay marketplace has materially improved," said Mark Mahaney, an analyst at Citigroup Inc. He has a "hold" rating on the shares.