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PayPal’s spending warning casts pall over upbeat forecast

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By Manya Saini and Jaiveer Shekhawat

(Reuters) – PayPal Holdings Inc forecast full-year profit above Wall Street estimates on Thursday but warned of pressure on discretionary spending, and said Chief Executive Dan Schulman will retire at the end of 2023.

Macroeconomic pressures have begun to hurt American consumers, particularly those in the lower income bracket, but PayPal’s customers continue to spend largely undeterred by decades-high inflation.

Even so, the company’s upbeat forecast comes alongside its previously announced commitment of lowering expenses in the backdrop of its key e-commerce segment feeling the pinch of a slowdown.

“The rate of e-commerce growth in our core markets has decelerated. Inflationary pressures have affected discretionary consumer spending and post-COVID spending patterns are still evolving,” acting finance chief Gabrielle Rabinovitch said in a call with analysts.

Shares in the payments heavyweight fell 1% in extended trading after results.

In a divergence from prior quarters, PayPal said it will not provide a forecast for full-year revenue growth.

“They don’t want to call out a revenue number at this point because of the macro uncertainty, they don’t want to put themselves in a box,” D.A. Davidson analyst Chris Brendler told Reuters.


GRAPHIC: Total Payment Vols (TPV) come off pandemic highs – https://www.reuters.com/graphics/PAYPAL-RESULTS/egpbyaengvq/chart.png


Schulman joined PayPal in 2014 to lead the company, after its separation from eBay the following year.

“Dan’s had notable success in growing PayPal materially over the years, however the change may remove an overhang for some investors given recent/post-pandemic volatility,” Wolfe Research analyst Darrin Peller said in a note.

Shares in PayPal have lost about 66% of their value since 2021, through the stock’s last close.

Last week, PayPal said it will lay off 7% of its workforce, or about 2,000 employees.

PayPal said it expects full-year adjusted profit of roughly $4.87 on a per share basis. Analysts on average had expected $4.75 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

PayPal earned a profit of $1.24 per share on an adjusted basis in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, beating analyst estimates of $1.20 per share.

Its revenue rose 9% on an FX-neutral basis to $7.4 billion.


(Reporting by Manya Saini and Jaiveer Shekhawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)