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PayPal tops profit estimates, lifts target on mobile payments growth

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10/20/2017 | 01:04am CEST
Illustration photo of the PayPal app on a phone

Sharp growth in mobile payments led PayPal Holdings Inc (>> PayPal Holdings) to report a better-than-expected third-quarter profit on Thursday and lift its guidance for earnings through the rest of the year.

Sharp growth in mobile payments led PayPal Holdings Inc (>> PayPal Holdings) to report a better-than-expected third-quarter profit on Thursday and lift its guidance for earnings through the rest of the year.

The San Jose, California-based payments company has been working hard in recent years to expand its reach to new customers through partnerships and acquisitions, particularly in mobile payments. Those deals are clearly starting to bear fruit, analysts said.

"It was just a very strong quarter across the board," said A.B. Mendez, an analyst and fund manager at Frost Investment Advisors.

PayPal shares were up 3.9 percent at $69.89 in after-hours trading following the results.

Since separating from online marketplace eBay Inc (>> eBay) in 2015, PayPal has reshaped itself from a company that mostly processed transactions for its parent to a payments giant that handles money transfers between other companies and customers, as well as friends, roommates, overseas relatives and small businesses.

It has partnered with household names like Mastercard Inc (>> MasterCard), Visa Inc (>> Visa), JPMorgan Chase & Co (>> JP Morgan Chase & Company), Alphabet Inc's <GOOG.O> Google, Apple Inc (>> Apple), Facebook Inc (>> Facebook) and Microsoft Corp's (>> Microsoft Corporation) Skype, and acquired startups like online lender Swift Financial and remittances company Xoom. It also owns Venmo, the mobile payments app that is popular with young adults, and still handles transactions for eBay.

In a call with analysts, Chief Executive Officer Dan Schulman characterized the third quarter as possibly the best since its split from eBay and said PayPal is on the hunt for more acquisitions.

"We have very strong balance sheet, and it's a potential weapon for us as we think about competing going forward," he said.

The company's adjusted profit rose 32 percent during the third quarter to $560 million, or 46 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 43 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 21.4 percent to $3.24 billion.

PayPal lifted its full-year adjusted earnings forecast to a range of $1.86 to $1.88 per share from $1.80 per share to $1.84 per share. It expects 50 cents to 52 cents per share in earnings during the fourth quarter, compared with an average analyst estimate of 51 cents.

Much of the gains have come from PayPal's aggressive effort to pick up market share in the fast-growing mobile payments space.

Its mobile payments volume jumped 54 percent during the third quarter compared with the year-ago period, to about $40 billion. Total payments volume rose 31 percent to $114 billion.

Venmo, which allows individuals in the United States to send each other money through a mobile app, more than doubled its payments volumes. Earlier this week, PayPal said it would soon allow more than 2 million merchant customers to start accepting payments through the platform.

(Reporting by Anna Irrera in New York and Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Cynthia Osterman)

By Anna Irrera and Diptendu Lahiri

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Financials ($)
Sales 2017 9 561 M
EBIT 2017 2 830 M
Net income 2017 2 059 M
Debt 2017 3 497 M
Yield 2017 -
P/E ratio 2017 19,81
P/E ratio 2018 22,01
EV / Sales 2017 4,58x
EV / Sales 2018 4,18x
Capitalization 40 255 M
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 39
Average target price 38,6 $
Spread / Average Target 2,5%
EPS Revisions
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NameTitle
Devin N. Wenig President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
Thomas J. Tierney Chairman
Wendy Jones Senior Vice President-Global Operations
Scott Schenkel Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
Stephen Fisher Chief Technology Officer & Senior Vice President
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