PayPal reports first ever profit amid eBay acquisition rumours

PayPal reports first ever profit amid eBay acquisition rumours

Recently floated person-to-person payment operator PayPal has reported its first-ever quarterly profit amid persistent rumours that the company is an acquisition target for online auction house eBay.

The company earned $1.2 million, or 2 cents per share, for the first quarter ended 31 March, reversing a loss of $29.3 million, or $5.39 per share, at the same time last year. The pro forma figures are even more impressive, with net income rising to $4.3 million, or 7 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $10.7 million, or $1.97 per share in the equivalent period. QI revenues nearly tripled to $48.8 million, an increase of 248% over the $14.0 million in revenues in the first quarter of 2001.

PayPal estimates 2002 revenues could range from $220 million to $230 million, with pro forma after-tax earnings of approximately $0.34 to $0.36 per share.

The company's stock has climbed steadily in the past week amid continuing rumours that online auction house eBay is lining up a bid. PayPal's shares closed at $25.38 on Nasdaq, adding another another 10 cents in after-hours trading as the earnings figures were reported. Based on yesterday's closing price, the company now has a stock market value of some $1.6 billion.

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