PayPal offers positive outlook, beats expectations

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The PayPal logo is seen during an event at Terra Gallery in San Francisco

By Anna Irrera and Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) – PayPal Holdings Inc <PYPL.O> raised its earnings outlook on Wednesday after reporting higher-than-expected quarterly profit resulting from an increase in payment processing volumes and user growth.

The company raised its full-year profit forecast to $1.28-$1.33 per share from $1.26-$1.31, and said its board authorized a $5 billion share buyback program.

Revenue rose 17 percent to $2.98 billion, beating analysts’ average estimate of $2.94 billion.

Chief Financial Officer John Rainey said the company was planning some staff cuts and other restructuring initiatives which will slash $75 million in annual costs.

“Less than 3 percent of our global workforce will be affected and based on current plans, we do not expect a net decrease in headcount for the year,” Rainey said.

PayPal’s shares jumped 6 percent to $47.08 in after-hours trading.

Chief Executive Dan Schulman said the company had added 6 million new active accounts in the first quarter, the largest quarterly user increase in the past 3 years.

“We’re changing the way we’re operating as a company,” Schulman said. “We’re beginning to see the results of what we’re capable of here.”

The San Jose, California-based company has been expanding partnerships and acquiring new services to gain advantage over rivals in a highly competitive digital payments market.

Last week it struck a deal with Alphabet Inc’s Google <GOOGL.O> in a move to bring its payment wallet to brick-and-mortar stores.

Consumers will be able to use their PayPal accounts with Google’s mobile payments platform Android Pay at retailers such as WalGreens Boots <WBA.O> and Dunkin’ Donuts <DNKN.O>.

PayPal, which spun off from e-commerce firm eBay Inc <EBAY.O> in 2015, also agreed to buy Canadian bill payment processor TIO Networks Corp <TNC.V> for about $233 million in February.

Rainey said growth in revenue had been driven by an increase in payments processing volumes in both its core business and other services such payments platform provider BrainTree.

PayPal’s total payments volume jumped 22.5 percent to $99.33 billion, beating research firm FactSet StreetAccount’s estimate of $99.20 billion.

Mobile payments volume rose 51 percent to about $32 billion in the quarter. Payment volumes at Venmo, its mobile peer-to-peer payment platform popular with younger customers, more than doubled to $6.8 billion in the first quarter.

“Growth in our Venmo and our core P2P platforms … supports higher levels of engagement and reduced levels of churn across our consumer base,” Rainey said.

The company’s net income rose to $384 million, or 32 cents per share, in the first quarter, from $365 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, PayPal earned 44 cents per share, above the average analyst estimate of 41 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru and Anna Irrera in New York; editing by Martina D’Couto)

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