PayPal’s net profits soared more than 10 times in the first three months as strong payment volumes were boosted by the shift to online shopping and digital transactions during the pandemic.
PayPal’s net profit soared to $1.1 billion in the first quarter ending March 31 from $84 million in the year-earlier period, beating analysts’ estimates.
Revenue during the same period soared 31 percent annually to more than $6 billion, beating the average $5.9 billion estimate of analysts.
“Our strong first-quarter results demonstrate sustained momentum in our business as the world shifts into the digital economy,” said Dan Schulman, PayPal’s chief executive.
“Our addressable market continues to grow as we launch new products and services for our 392 million active accounts.”
Payment volumes processed through the platform rose 50 per cent to $285bn in the January-March period. This was PayPal’s record for the quarter.
The company’s stock was up by almost 4.65 percent to $258.90 a share in after-hours trading. The share price has increased more than 90 percent in the past year.
In its forecast for the second quarter, PayPal said it expected its revenue to reach $6.3 billion. It raises its full-year sales forecast to $25.8 billion from $25.5 billion announced in February.
“Our record-breaking first quarter results underscore the ongoing strength, diversification and relevance of our scaled, two-sided, global payments platform,” said John Rainey, chief financial officer and executive vice president of global customer operations.
“We are raising our financial year 2021 guidance based on these strong results.”
PayPal, which added 14.5 million new accounts in the first three months of the year, ended the quarter with 392 million active accounts.
It aims to add new accounts in the range of 52 million to 55 million in the current financial year.
The number of payment transactions on the platform soared by 34 percent annually to 4.4 billion.
The company’s cash, cash equivalents and investments totaled $19.1 billion as of March 31.
It rebought nearly 5.3 million shares of common stock, returning $1.3bn to stockholders.
Paypal has shown “incredibly robust profitability” and “many avenues to pursue future growth”, said David Donovan, executive vice president and head of financial services at digital consultancy Publicis Sapient.
“PayPal offers some of the most competitive products to both customers and merchants, and it strikes the perfect balance between a large reliable investment and an exciting company with growth potential.
“In the past, PayPal has delivered very consistent revenue and earnings growth, and given these strong first quarter results, I expect this to be the case in the foreseeable future.”
Venmo, PayPal’s app that allows customers in the US to send each other money, processed nearly $51bn in payments in the first quarter, the company said.
Venmo has attracted new users because of its lower fees and the recent addition of cryptocurrency trading, Donovan said.
Last year, PayPal launched a service enabling users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency. It enables cryptocurrency as a funding source for its 26 million merchants.