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Oct 21, 2016

PayPal shares rally as revenue rises 18.1%, beating expectations

PayPal's headquarters in San Jose, California

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PayPal Holdings Inc reported a better-than-expected 18.1 per cent rise in quarterly revenue and its margin forecast allayed concerns over costs associated with its payment network deals with MasterCard Inc and Visa Inc.

PayPal's shares were up 4.2 per cent at US$41.78 in after-hours trading.

The payments processor said in presentation slides that it expects adjusted operating margin to be stable or higher in the next three years.

"With one slide in its deck, PayPal largely addressed investors' concerns about the impact of the Visa and MasterCard deals on its margins," said BTIG analyst Mark Palmer.

PayPal signed deals with Mastercard Inc and Visa Inc earlier this year for store payments, leading to some concerns that they would result in higher transaction expenses for the company.

Susquehanna Financial analyst James Friedman said PayPal's margin forecast is "going to be seen as pretty good."

On Thursday, PayPal also raised its revenue growth forecast for a three-year period to 16-17 per cent, from its previous guidance of 15 per cent.

The San Jose, California-based company's active customer accounts rose 11 per cent to 192 million in the third quarter, beating the average analyst estimate of 191.6 million, according to research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

Total payment volumes surged 25 per cent to US$87 billion.

However, PayPal's transaction margins, which have been steadily declining for the last five quarters, fell to 58.7 per cent from 59.8 per cent in the second quarter.

In its second stint as a public company, PayPal has witnessed rapid growth in a number of services such as person-to-person payment app Venmo and Braintree, a payment gateway used by larger merchants.

Payment volumes at Venmo, whose customers are mainly millennials, surged 131 per cent to US$4.9 billion in the third quarter. In the preceding quarter, they soared 141 per cent.

PayPal processed 1.5 billion transactions in the latest quarter, slightly lower than the average estimate of 1.52 billion.

The company, spun off from e-commerce company eBay Inc last year, said its revenue rose to US$2.67 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from US$2.26 billion a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected US$2.65 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Excluding items, the company earned 35 cents per share, in line with analysts' average estimate.

Up to Thursday's close, shares of the company had risen 10.7 per cent this year, outperforming the 4.8 per cent gain in the broader S&P 500.  

S$41.15 in after-hours trading on Thursday.

The payments processor, which signed network deals with Mastercard Inc and Visa Inc this year, has focused on growing transaction volumes and expanding its share of the digital payments market.

Active customer accounts rose 11 per cent to 192 million in the third quarter, beating the average analyst estimate of 191.6 million, according to research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

Total payment volumes surged 25 per cent to US$87 billion.

PayPal's transaction margins, which have been steadily declining for the last five quarters, fell to 58.7 per cent from 59.8 per cent in the second quarter.

However, the company said that it expects adjusted operating margin to be stable or grow in the next three years.

"The fact that they are saying that the three-year outlook has stable to growing margins is going to be seen as pretty good," said Susquehanna Financial Group analyst James Friedman.

In its second stint as a public company, PayPal has witnessed rapid growth at a number of services such as Venmo, which allows person-to-person payments, and Braintree, a payment gateway used by larger merchants.

Payment volumes at Venmo, whose customers are mainly millennials, surged 131 per cent  to US$4.9 billion in the third quarter. In the preceding quarter, they soared 141 per cent.

PayPal processed 1.5 billion transactions in the latest quarter, slightly lower than the average estimate of 1.52 billion.

The company, spun off from e-commerce company eBay Inc last year, said its revenue rose to US$2.67 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from US$2.26 billion a year earlier.

Net income rose to US$323 million, or 27 cents US per share, from US$301 million, or 25 cents US per share.

Excluding items, the company earned 35 cents US per share.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 35 cents US per share and revenue of US$2.65 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Up to Thursday's close, shares of the company had risen 10.7 per cent this year, outperforming the 4.8 per cent gain in the broader S&P 500.