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Ebay cutting 7% of workforce; exploring options for enterprise division


New York -- Ebay Inc. plans to cut about 2,400 positions, or 7% of its workforce, across eBay marketplaces, PayPal, and eBay enterprise in the current quarter to simplify its organizational structure.

The company also said it will explore strategic options for eBay enterprise, including a sale or an IPO.

EBay also reported fourth-quarter earnings of 90 cents per share, up from 81 cents a share in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose to $4.92 billion from $4.53 billion a year ago, boosted by its PayPal payments unit and higher holiday sales. Wall Street had expected the company to deliver quarterly earnings per share of 89 cents on $4.93 billion in revenue, according to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters.

"In a year of unexpected events and distractions, we ended 2014 with double-digit revenue growth, solid earnings growth and strong cash flow, reflecting the fundamental strengths of our company," said John Donahoe, president and CEO of eBay Inc. "PayPal had another strong quarter, finishing an excellent year. eBay, while facing challenges, continues to be a great business and is focused on stabilizing performance and engaging its core customers. Looking ahead, our plans are on track to separate eBay and PayPal into independent companies in the second half of 2015, and we are confident this is the right strategic path for each business."

EBay forecast fiscal first quarter revenue of between $4.35 billion and $4.45 billion for the. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters currently expect revenue of $4.70 billion. For the full year, the company sees earnings coming in the range of $3.05 to $3.15 per share, with revenue ranging from $18.6 billion to $19.1 billion.

EBay said in September it would spin off PayPal in 2015, freeing the unit from the slower-growing traditional e-commerce business to allow it to strike deals in the rapidly evolving payments space.

The company also announced the appointment of seasoned Wall Street executives Frank Yeary and Perry Traquina to its board of directors. These appointments bring the total number of directors to 15, 13 of whom are independent.

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