PayPal raises full-year profit forecast above Wall Street estimates

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(Reuters) – PayPal Holdings raised its forecast for full-year adjusted profit above Wall Street estimates on Wednesday, as the payments giant banks on resilient consumer spending trends during the key holiday shopping season.

Shares of the company rose 2.5% in extended trading after the results. It also named Jamie Miller as its new chief financial officer.

Consumer spending has shown remarkable strength this year, with analysts expecting the cheer to extend to the holidays, as companies dangle steep discounts on everything from electronics to clothing to entice inflation-weary shoppers.

Online sales during the U.S. holiday season, which includes some of the biggest shopping days such as Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving and Black Friday, are expected to rise 4.8% from a year earlier, a report from Adobe Analytics showed in October.

The company said it expects adjusted profit for the full-year to be about $4.98 per share from $4.95 earlier. Analysts on average had expected $4.92, according to LSEG data.

Analysts, however, remain focused on PayPal’s margins that have underwhelmed investors in recent quarters. The company’s low-margin business products have grown strongly, while growth in its branded products has slowed due to increased pressure from competitors such as Apple.

PayPal cut its annual forecast of adjusted operating margin expansion to 75 basis points from 100 basis points expected earlier. Adjusted operating margin was 22.2% in the third quarter.

PayPal’s revenue jumped 9% to $7.4 billion on FX-neutral basis in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. Analysts on average had expected $7.38 billion.

U.S. consumer spending surged in September as households boosted purchases of motor vehicles and traveled, keeping spending on a higher growth path heading into the fourth quarter, according to data from the U.S. Commerce Department.

Total payments volume increased 13% on FX-neutral basis to $387.7 billion in the third quarter, beating Street expectations of $377.9 billion.

The firm earned $1.30 per share on an adjusted basis in the third-quarter, beating Wall Street expectations of $1.23 per share.

(Reporting by Manya Saini in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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