PayPal boosts revenue outlook on expanded shopper activity

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PayPal Holdings Inc. Chief Executive Officer Dan Schulman’s campaign to expand the payments platform beyond websites and into stores keeps impressing investors.

The company projected revenue of $3.57 billion to $3.63 billion in the current quarter, showing the PayPal is persuading more shoppers to use the platform as a digital wallet and a payment button for online orders. Analysts on average estimated $3.56 billion. Shares gained as much as 6.3% in extended trading, continuing investor confidence that has propelled the company’s stock 70 percent higher this year.

Schulman’s latest move has been expanding PayPal’s Venmo service beyond peer-to-peer payments like splitting a restaurant tab to a method for paying merchants directly. Venmo is now available at more than 2 million U.S. retailers, PayPal said Tuesday. The service handled transactions worth $9 billion in the third quarter, almost double from the period a year earlier, the San Jose, California-based company said Thursday in a statement.
Venmo’s expansion is complementing earlier deals with credit card issuers, banks and Apple Inc. to increase the places where PayPal is accepted. The momentum will continue as brick-and-mortar retail chains seek help transitioning to the digital age in which more customers shop with their computers or smartphones, said AB Mendez, an analyst with Frost Investment Advisors.

“The street gives Schulman a lot of credit for having a strategy,” he said. “PayPal is the great hope for anyone looking to compete with Amazon.”

Adjusted profit in the current quarter will be 50 cents to 52 cents a share, San Jose, California-based PayPal said. Analysts projected profit of 51 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

PayPal reported third-quarter adjusted earnings of 46 cents per share on revenue of $3.24 billion. Analysts on average estimated profit of 44 cents on revenue of $3.18 billion. Total payment volume increased 30 percent to $114 billion in the period ended Sept. 30.

The company split from online marketplace EBay Inc. two years ago to speed its transition from a payment button on websites into a financial tool that lets people pay merchants and send money to friends through smartphone apps. Schulman wants PayPal accepted in stores where most purchases still occur. He hopes to lure shoppers with time-saving features such as apps that let them order ahead and skip lines to encourage the transition from cash and credit cards to mobile wallets. The one-touch feature of mobile wallets means shoppers can quickly pay with their smartphones using saved account information.

Active customer accounts were 218 million in the third quarter, an increase from 210 million in the second quarter and 192 million a year earlier. Transactions per active account were 32.8 in the trailing 12 months, up 9 percent, slower than the 10% percent growth in the second quarter.

Bloomberg News
Retailers P-to-P payments PayPal Venmo