eBay reported strong fourth quarter earnings Wednesday, driven largely by the sale of Skype to Microsoft last May for $8.5 billion. eBay reported net income for the fourth quarter of $2 billion, with revenue jumping 35 percent to $3.4 billion.

That compared to net income of $559 million and revenue of $2.5 billion for the same period in 2010.

eBay bought Skype in 2005 for $2.6 billion in cash and stock, but the e-commerce and online payments company sold off most of its stake in Skype in 2009. With Microsoft’s purchase last year eBay sold its remaining minority position for about $2.2 billion in cash.

eBay President and CEO John Donahoe said in a statement:

“We had a strong fourth quarter finish to an excellent year, increasing our confidence in our three-year outlook. Across eBay, PayPal, GSI and X.commerce, we have a robust portfolio of global commerce platforms and innovative mobile, local and social commerce technology assets. We are well-positioned to compete in the emerging new retail environment, and to help retailers of all sizes grow and engage their customers anytime, anywhere. We are a different eBay today, no longer just an ecommerce leader but a stronger, more diverse global commerce company shaping the future of shopping and payments.”

eBay’s PayPal business remains a strong growth story, finishing the quarter with 106.3 million registered accounts and revenue growth of 28 percent.

Previously on GeekWire: Microsoft vet Ken Moss lands at eBay, plans to grow Seattle office


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