PayPal Holdings Inc.’s fourth-quarter sales beat estimates, reassuring investors concerned about the company’s prospects as an independent company amid mounting competition from Apple Inc. and Square Inc.
Profit, excluding some items, was 36 cents a share on revenue of $2.6 billion, compared with analysts’ average projections of 34 cents and $2.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue was $2.19 billion a year earlier. The company also announced a $2 billion stock repurchase program.
After separating from EBay Inc. last year, PayPal increased its total payments volume by bringing on new merchants and enticing shoppers with a Buy button that streamlines transactions on smartphones. Spending on such devices in the U.S. is expected to hit $96.2 billion this year, up 28.4 percent from 2015, according to EMarketer.
PayPal gave a forecast for adjusted earnings in the current quarter of 34 cents to 36 cents a share, compared with estimates for 35 cents. The company said it sees revenue of $2.47 billion to $2.52 billion in the first quarter, compared with estimates of $2.47 billion.