The San Jose-based payments company reported revenue of $2.26 billion, up 14% year over year, and earnings of 31 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $2.27 billion with earnings of 29 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters estimates.
PayPal (PYPL) - Get Report provided guidance for the full financial year of 2015, anticipating revenue to grow 15% to 18% on an FX neutral, non-GAAP pro forma basis and for earnings per share to come in between $1.23 and $1.27.
"PayPal is entirely focused on digital payments and transforming money for people around the world. This clear focus and our strong value proposition allowed us to deliver strong financial results in the third quarter," PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in a statement.
Shares were down sharply in pre-market trading on Thursday, but in morning trading, they were down 1.7% to $35.91.
"This stock shouldn't be down," said TheStreet's Jim Cramer, Portfolio Manager of the Action AlertsPLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. "It was a great quarter and the beginning of the run of good earnings for the millennials credit card company. But boy oh boy is it tough to go against Mastercard and Visa."
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Here are the three key takeaways from PayPal's third-quarter report:
Growing the Audience
PayPal is successfully expanding both its customer base and its merchant base. The company added 4 million new active users in the quarter, bringing its total to 173 million, up 10.3% year-over-year.
And total payment volume was up 27% year-over-year.
It has also been adding new merchant partners, such as Macy's (M) - Get Report , Shell, and America Movi. Management said that 78 of the top 100 U.S. retailers and 68 European ones are PayPal customers.
Plus PayPal's OneTouch service, which keeps a user signed in across sites, has reached 7 million customers and 1 million merchants.
"Key metrics showed very healthy growth, attesting to strong underlying fundamentals and competitive position," Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali said in a note on Thursday. "We believe sustained growth in active users, increased frequency of use (engagement) and deeper penetration of the merchant base over time should help sustain strong growth in total payment volume and revenue."
Monetizing Those Users
While PayPal showed some positive growth in usage, its take rate, or the money it makes off of payments it processes, declined 5.7% year over year. A lot of that decline can be attributed to international headwinds, including foreign exchange, but some can also be attributed to the increase of non-core payments in PayPal's total volume.
In an effort to better capitalize on its non-core payments, PayPal said it will begin monetizing Venmo by letting merchants accept "pay by Venmo." Management said the take rate charged to merchants for Venmo would be similar to that charged for normal PayPal transactions.
"We think highly of Venmo for peer-to-peer transactions, though we question the success the Venmo platform will have in the merchant payments realm (unclear value proposition for consumers/merchants; funding mix will likely differ)," Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote in a note Thursday morning.
It's no surprise that PayPal is not the only one trying to make it in the world of payments. Some analysts see this as a benefit that will boost PayPal's business. Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham pointed to "secular tailwinds from shift to non-cash, eCommerce, and smartphones" as support for his Buy rating.
"We remain Under Weight given our longer-term concerns around PayPal's value position to consumers and merchants in an increasingly crowded mobile wallet/payments landscape," Munster said.
But PayPal isn't too worried just yet.
During the call Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analyst Sanjay Sakhrani asked management how Chase's announcement of Chase Pay and a partnership with MCX, a payments consortium for merchants, would impact PayPal.
Schulman answered by saying that MCX is actually powered by Paydiant, which PayPal acquired in March, and that PayPal has a close relationship with MCX, so any positive growth from MCX only helps PayPal.
"You've got an exploding marketplace right now for digital payments," Schulman said. "The number of opportunities is immense and honestly putting those in order of priority, selecting with people to work with, making sure that it fits within our whole development pipeline is a big task that we have."