Revenue Surge Pushes PayPal Earnings Past Estimates

PayPal registered profit of $1.32 per share in the fourth quarter, up from 43 cents last year, creaming the analyst consensus of 62 cents.
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PayPal  (PYPL) - Get Report topped fourth-quarter estimates after the bell Wednesday, saying its payment services are in high demand as a result of the Covid pandemic. 

PayPal registered profit of $1.57 billion, or $1.32 per share, in the fourth quarter, up from $507 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier. The FactSet analyst consensus called for EPS of 62 cents per share in the latest quarter.

Adjusted earnings per share totaled $1.08, topping the analyst consensus of $1.

Revenue surged 23% in the fourth quarter to $6.12 billion from $4.96 billion last year. The analyst consensus called for revenue of $6.09 billion.

“PayPal delivered record performance in 2020, as businesses of all sizes have digitized in the wake of the pandemic,” PayPal Chief Executive Dan Schulman said in a statement. “In this historic year, we released more products than ever before and have dramatically scaled our acceptance worldwide, giving our 377 million consumer and merchant accounts even more reasons to use our platform.”

Shares rose following the report. PayPal shares recently stood at $257.20, up 2.10%, in after-hours trading, after gaining 1.12% during the regular trading session Wednesday. They have climbed 34% in the last three months through Wednesday’s close.

The company’s net new active accounts soared 72% in the quarter from a year earlier to 16 million. Total payment volume climbed 36% to $277 billion. Operating cash flow ascended 46% to $1.35 billion, and free cash flow leaped 50% to $1.12 billion.

In December, Deutsche Bank analyst Bryan Keane, who rates PayPal a buy, raised his price target to $275 from $234.