In recent quarters, PayPal Holdings Inc. has faced challenges with its transaction margins due to changes in its business mix. However, the focus of the company’s third-quarter report shifted towards the new Chief Executive Officer, Alex Chriss, and the big-picture message he delivered.
Analysts were pleasantly surprised by Chriss’ approach and the direction he aims to take the company. Baird’s Colin Sebastian titled his note to clients “There’s a New Sheriff in Town.” He highlighted Chriss’ plans for faster product development, a narrower focus on profitable growth, and operating cost reductions. Chriss is ready to shake things up by identifying opportunities for operating leverage, reinvesting in the customer experience at checkout, improving and scaling PayPal Complete Payments for small- and medium-sized businesses, and driving margin expansion in Braintree and other products.
Sebastian gave the stock an outperform rating with a target price of $84, stating that sentiment towards PayPal is near bottoming out despite the risks involved. As a result of Chriss’ promising direction, PayPal shares saw a 7% increase in Thursday’s premarket action.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Daniel Perlin also noticed Chriss’ responsiveness to stakeholders, implying that he has successfully listened to their concerns.
Overall, PayPal’s new CEO aims to fuel growth and reduce costs, ushering in a new chapter for the company.
Focus on Fourth Quarter
The upcoming fourth quarter is set to be a crucial period for PayPal. During this time, the CEO, Mr. Chriss, will unveil new metrics to investors, providing insights into the company’s performance. Although financial expectations for this period indicate that results will mirror previous quarters, all eyes will be on the new metrics disclosed by Chriss.
Positive Outlook and Rating
Despite lowering his price target from $86 to $70, industry analyst Perlin gave an outperform rating to PayPal shares. In a recent note to clients, Perlin commended Chriss for signaling a new strategic clarity and a greater emphasis on profitable growth. Barclays analyst Ramsey El-Assal echoed this sentiment in a note titled “Great First Impression From New CEO,” highlighting the positive steps taken by PayPal to evaluate its growth priorities and optimize its resources. El-Assal set an overweight rating for the stock with a $81 target.
Measured View and Potential Challenges
Wells Fargo analyst Andrew Bauch offered a more cautious perspective on PayPal’s stock. While acknowledging that the CEO’s refreshed messaging would likely have a positive impact on the stock’s valuation in the short term, Bauch emphasized that there might be challenges in achieving sustained upside potential. Bauch’s equal-weight rating and $55 target price reflect his belief that it may take multiple quarters to resolve these challenges and achieve significant growth.
The new CEO of PayPal has set a clear vision for the company, with a focus on execution and profitable growth. Industry analysts have expressed varying views on the stock’s potential, with some predicting positive outcomes and others cautioning about potential challenges. The coming months will be critical in determining the success of the CEO’s strategy and PayPal’s ability to achieve its growth objectives.
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