PayPal Holdings Inc. shares rose 5.4 percent in their market debut as investors expect the company will grow after separating from EBay Inc.The shares reached $40.47 at the close Monday in New York. PayPal is trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market as PYPL, its original ticker symbol before being acquired by EBay in 2002. EBay gained 2.4 percent to $28.57.PayPal Chief Executive Officer Dan Schulman said helping brick-and-mortar retailers develop smartphone apps that let consumers place orders and make payments in advance — as it has done with Subway and Burger King — will be important to maintaining the company’s growth. Global transactions total $25 trillion a year, about 10 percent of which are made online, making physical stores a key area, he said.
“It’s a much bigger marketplace,” Schulman said in an interview.
PayPal opened trading with a market value almost 1.4 times that of EBay Inc. as investors bet on bigger returns from the digital payments business than its former parent company, which is struggling amid increasing competition in e-commerce.
He said it was “uniquely positioned not only as a beneficiary of growth in electronic payments but also as a quasi-disruptor of the incumbent card-based systems (MasterCard/Visa).”
The spinoff, announced last year, came after months of pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn, who had assailed eBay for poor management and claimed that keeping eBay tied with PayPal depressed the value of both units.
eBay acquired PayPal in 2002 for roughly $1.5 billion in shares, integrating the payment service that had already been widely used for online auctions. PayPal had traded on the Nasdaq exchange prior to being acquired by eBay.
“As an independent company, we see a tremendous opportunity for PayPal to expand our role as a champion for consumers and partner to merchants, and to help shape the industry as money becomes digital at an increasingly rapid pace.”
Analysts at BMO Capital Markets said PayPal is a “unique” opportunity for investors because it has the potential to disrupt the market for personal and online payments.
BMO analyst Paul Condra, in a note to clients, called PayPal the “only truly disruptive consumer payment network with scale and strong brand recognition.”