eBay forecasts for fourth quarter fail to impress

EBAY yesterday forecast fourth-quarter profit and revenue at the low end of analysts&rsquo; estimates, disappointing investors&rsquo; hopes of a substantial turnaround at its main marketplaces division during the crucial holiday season.<br /><br />The global e-commerce site, which also owns online payments service PayPal and Web telephone company Skype, said net profit in its third quarter was $350m (&pound;211m), or 27 cents per share, from $492m, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier.<br /><br />&ldquo;Certainly the fourth quarter earnings guidance is light,&rdquo; said analyst Colin Gillis of Brigantine Advisors. &ldquo;This is a turnaround play in the early stages.&rdquo;<br /><br />On an adjusted basis, earnings were 38 cents per share, a penny above the average analyst forecast, according to Thomson Reuters.<br /><br />Revenue was $2.2bn, the company said, compared to the Wall Street expectation of $2.14bn.<br /><br />Investors have been looking for confirmation that eBay has turned around its long-struggling marketplaces business.