Business

Paypal valued at almost $50bn with Nasdaq return

Paypal boss ringing the Nasdaq bell Image copyright Reuters
Image caption PayPal has returned to Nasdaq 13 years after being bought by eBay

PayPal has been valued at almost $50bn (£34bn) after splitting from eBay and relisting on Nasdaq.

The online payment firm formally separated from parent company eBay on Friday, 10 months after the move was first announced.

Analysts said the split had enabled investors to evaluate the two companies' growth prospects separately.

Shares in PayPayl rose 6.5%, or $2.51, to $40.90 in New York.

Paypal's revenues rose 16% in the second quarter - more than double eBay's 7% increase in the same period.

The separation will give Paypal the freedom to work with other potential partners, such as marketplaces like Amazon or Alibaba and increase its market share.

Paypal chief executive Dan Schulman said its status as an independent company was a "tremendous opportunity".

'Gorilla'

"We are focused on leveraging our strengths to drive long-term growth for our company and shareholders," he said.

JP Morgan analysts described Paypal as a "gorilla" in the online payments marketplace and said its "global scale and brand recognition" would help its growth.

However, this may not translate easily into new areas.

"User engagement is changing, and the competitive advantages PayPal enjoyed in the traditional online commerce channel do not necessarily carry over into the mobile and offline worlds, in our view," JP Morgan added.

MCH analyst, James Cakmak said Paypal was now the only truly independent player in the digital online marketplace.

"It would take a lot of time and a lot of resources for any rival to catch up," he said. But he said it was unlikely that the shares would continue to increase due to the already "very robust growth outlook" factored into the share price.

PayPal, which was founded by a group of investors including venture capitalist Peter Thiel and Tesla Motors boss Elon Musk in 1998, first listed on Nasdaq in 2002 and was bought later that year by eBay.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Elon Musk launches the Tesla Model S in 2009

The decision to split the two companies came after activist investor Carl Icahn last year pushed for the separation - a move initially resisted by eBay.

EBay chief executive John Donahoe subsequently said a "thorough strategic review" had shown the board that keeping the two companies together was becoming "less advantageous to each business strategically and competitively".

The two businesses will continue to have some links, with eBay agreeing not to reduce the volume of transactions it puts through PayPal for the next five years.

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