Daily Brief: PayPal’s Revenue Rose Last Quarter, Even As It Shifted Focus From Adding New Users

Daily Brief: PayPal’s Revenue Rose Last Quarter, Even As It Shifted Focus From Adding New Users

over 1 year ago3 mins

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PayPal posted strong quarterly results earlier this week.

What does this mean?

PayPal’s been struggling in the last few months, both as inflation has continued to drag on online spending and as eBay has moved payments away from the platform. So the company has now shifted its focus from adding users to getting existing ones to use its platform more often. It made progress on that front last quarter: the average number of transactions per active account jumped 12%, which helped overall revenue climb by a better-than-expected 9%. And there was plenty more good news: PayPal upped its full-year profit outlook, announced a new $15 billion share buyback program, and saw its stock surge 13% after activist investor Elliott Management revealed it had become one of the company’s biggest shareholders.

PayPal results
Source: PayPal

Why should I care?

The bigger picture: PayPal wants the Gen Z dollar.

PayPal’s next big priority is to reduce costs, and it’s hoping that certain measures – like hiring in low-cost regions – will save it about $900 million this year and $1.3 billion next. But it is still planning to invest in payment app Venmo: PayPal wants to improve the way it works alongside its flagship platform, as well as make the app available to teenagers in a bid to boost user numbers.

PayPal stock
Source: Google Finance

Zooming out: Robinhood’s not-so-merry men.

PayPal said last year that it was thinking about adding stock trading capabilities to its app, but cost-cutting measures have seen it abandon the push. That might be a smart move: Robinhood just posted another decline in both users and user investments last quarter, sending its revenue down 44% from the same time last year. Things are so bad, in fact, that the darling of the pandemic trading boom said it’s going to be cutting nearly a quarter of its workforce.

Keep reading for our next story...

BMW Warned That Sales Are Going To Slow Down

BMW image

German carmaker BMW gave a disappointing outlook for the rest of the year on Wednesday.

What does this mean?

BMW barely produced any more cars last quarter than it did during the same time in 2021, with chip shortages slowing production to a crawl. That must’ve been especially frustrating given that orders – particularly for EV models, which are on track to make up 10% of all BMW’s deliveries this year – were at a record high. It’ll be hard not to look at that as a missed opportunity: the carmaker said demand was already starting to slow down, particularly as European customers contend with rising inflation and interest rates. And since BMW thinks this dynamic and the aforementioned chip shortage will stick around, the carmaker was pretty dispirited about its outlook for the rest of the year. Investors know the feeling: they sent its stock down 6%.

BMW cash flow
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Why should I care?

The bigger picture: BMW is a warning light.

BMW's outlook was in contrast to rival Mercedes, which said last week that it’s expecting orders to hold up this year. And while Peugeot-parent Stellantis admitted demand would fall eventually, it was confident that this year would be fine. So it’s not like investors were naive to the possibility that an economic downturn would impact the industry: they just thought they had till 2023 before the cracks started to show.

Zooming out: Eat the rich.

Europe’s gas shortage is set to hit harder in the next few months, which will make things even more complicated for carmakers like BMW. For consumers too, which might be why the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday that European governments should pass price increases on to wealthier individuals and shield the poorest with targeted relief. That, it thinks, will encourage people to save more energy or switch to greener alternatives.

Europe gas shortage
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