PayPal Decides to Go Public on Nasdaq After Split From eBay

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- PayPal announced on Thursday that it will go public on the Nasdaq under the ticker "PYPL," which it originally used before being acquired by eBay (EBAY) in 2002.

PayPal will be spun off from parent company eBay later this year -- the companies are planning for some time during the third quarter. After that, PayPal will trade as a public company.

Back in 1998, PayPal started out as an independent company, led by luminaries such as Peter Thiel, Max Levchin and Elon Musk, before being acquired by eBay.

The PYPL ticker symbol is significant for PayPal.

"This is a meaningful symbol for the company because it represents our unbroken commitment to the spirit of the original vision that the sparked the launch of PayPal 17 years ago," PayPal CEO-designee Dan Schulman wrote in a blog post on Thursday. "As we take this step to become an independent company publicly traded under the symbol PYPL once again, we are proud of our history of innovation and success and we are optimistic about the limitless possibilities that lie ahead."

Since joining eBay, PayPal has handled more than 18 billion transactions and more than a trillion dollars in payments, serving 165 million consumers in 200 countries. It may become more nimble and better able to innovate as a standalone company.

PayPal largely propped up eBay's most recent quarterly earnings, with PayPal's revenue surpassing Marketplaces' for the first time. PayPal brought in $2.11 billion in revenue, compared with Marketplaces' $2.06 billion.

Once it is no longer tied to eBay, PayPal will likely have an easier time forming partnerships with other companies such as Amazon (AMZN) that may have seen PayPal more as a competitor under eBay.

"As a component of an organization, it probably doesn't reach its full valuation," Needham analyst Kerry Rice said. "Independence allows them to be more flexible with partnering."

The payments industry is heating up, with competition coming from such places as Apple (AAPL) Pay, Square and even Samsung (SSNLF). PayPal will need to innovate, especially with in-store capabilities, if it wants to remain relevant.

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