PayPal (PYPL) - Get Report reported what it said was the strongest first quarter in its 23-year history, with net income leaping on 31% higher revenue and net new active accounts rising by 14.5 million.
The payment-technology icon raised its full-year guidance based on the first-quarter results.
E-commerce and online payments simply exploded during the pandemic, when most people were stuck at home and most stores were closed.
The San Jose, Calif., company earned 92 cents a share in the quarter, up from 7 cents in the year-earlier quarter. Adjusted earnings nearly doubled to $1.22 a share from 66 cents. Revenue reached $6.03 billion from $4.62 billion a year ago.
A survey of analysts by FactSet produced consensus estimates of GAAP earnings of 67 a share, or an adjusted $1.01, on revenue of $5.91 billion.
At last check, PayPal shares were 4.2% higher at $257.75. They had closed regular Wednesday trading off 1.1% at $247.40. The company had set a 52-week high above $309 in mid-February.
The results reflect "sustained momentum in our business as the world shifts into the digital economy," President and Chief Executive Dan Schulman said in a statement.
"Our addressable market continues to grow as we launch new products and services," Schulman added.
Total payment volume across the PayPal platform was $285 billion, up 50% from a year earlier. The company ended the quarter with 392 million active accounts.
For all of 2021, PayPal estimates GAAP earnings at $3.33 a share, compared with $3.54 in 2020. It pegs this year's adjusted earnings up 21% at $4.70. The FactSet survey of analysts is looking for full-year net income of $3.17 a share, or an adjusted $4.57.
For the year, PayPal expects revenue to grow about 20% to $25.75 billion. The FactSet call for the full year is $25.71 billion.
As of March 31, PayPal had cash, equivalents and investments of $19.1 billion. Its debt at that date was $8.9 billion.