Profit forecast falls short for eBay

<p>eBay has announced its latest sales and profit forecast.</p>

Online auction company eBay has announced a lower profit and sales forecast for the final quarter of the year than had been anticipated.

It was confirmed by the company that it expected sales of between $4.5 billion (£2.8 billion) and $4.6 billion for the holiday period, which is a key time for the firm.

"US e-commerce softened considerably and we have a cautious outlook for the holiday season," Chief Financial Officer Bob Swan told investors on a conference call.

Despite the lower profit and sales forecast for the fourth quarter of the year, eBay confirmed that its net income for the third quarter was $689 million, a rise of 15 per cent on the three-month period last year.

A growth in mobile trading on the online auction also helped the firm to boost sales by 14 per cent to $3.89 billion.

Last month, eBay confirmed the purchase of payments firm Braintree for about $800 million. Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, stated that the deal "makes reasonable sense strategically".

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