PayPal Sees Online Shopping Flurry Continue


The proliferation of vaccines around the world hasn’t stopped people from shopping online with PayPal Holdings Inc., which boosted its forecasts for growth in new users and revenue for the year.

Total payments volume in the first three months of the year surged a record 50 percent to $285 billion, topping the $265 billion average of analyst estimates, even as local governments continued to loosen restrictions throughout the quarter. The firm now expects to add as many as 55 million new users to its platform this year, an increase from earlier guidance.

“Our strong first quarter results demonstrate sustained momentum in our business as the world shifts into the digital economy,” chief executive officer Dan Schulman said in a statement announcing the results. “Our addressable market continues to grow as we launch new products and services for our 392 million active accounts.”

The shares rose more than 4 percent to $259 in extended New York trading after the announcement.

PayPal has benefited as consumers swarmed to online shopping over the course of the last year, spurred by pandemic-related shutdowns and orders to shelter in place as much as possible. Still, investors worried that the trend would reverse as the pandemic eased.

Wednesday’s results show PayPal doesn’t believe that shift is slowing down anytime soon.

The payments giant now expects revenue for the full year to climb 20 percent to $25.75 billion, a slight increase from the 19% jump it was previously expecting. Total payments volume is likely to increase by roughly 30 percent.

PayPal added 14.5 million new users to its platform during the first three months of the year, an increase that also topped estimates. Overall revenue surged 29 percent to $6.03 billion, greater than the $5.88 billion analysts were anticipating.

Even the firm’s person-to-person payments service Venmo has benefited from the pandemic. Such volumes rose 63 percent to $51 billion.

By Jenny Surane