PayPal’s Stock Price Hits Rock Bottom: Can a New CEO Turn It Around?
Two-sentence horror story: PayPal had a market cap of $350B+ two years ago. Today, it’s worth $63B.
It’s been downhill since. Several senior execs have left, the company has laid off a chunk of its employees to preserve profits, and abandoned its growth target of 750M active accounts along with its plans to launch a super app.
The numbers: Sales growth has slowed from 31% in 2021 to high single-digits in recent quarters. And if that doesn’t sound bad enough…
- The stock is down over 80% from its 2021 peak — now trading at its lowest valuation ever with an 11x forward price-to-earnings ratio.
- According to Bloomberg, that’s cheaper than ~95% of the companies in the Nasdaq 100.
Cheap is good? It depends on whether PayPal can reinvigorate growth — which also relies on consumers spending again and incoming competition. The number of online retailers with multiple checkout buttons has risen from 27% in 2018 to 65%, says MoffettNathanson’s Analyst Lisa Ellis (Barron’s).
Peeling apart market share, slice by slice
Instead of competing against each other, PayPal and Block (NYSE:SQ) will need to figure out how to protect themselves from Apple Pay, “the single biggest competitive threat PayPal faces,” per Ellis.
While Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) doesn’t directly compete with several of PayPal’s core businesses (yet), the consumer tech giant has released several products this year, signaling its ambitions and highlighting the significant threat it poses to fintech:
- Within four days of its savings account launch earlier this year, Apple saw $1B in deposits — while Apple Pay Later is gaining traction, threatening the leading buy now, pay later companies, PayPal and Block.
- Apple is slowly ramping up its small business payment tools — which would directly compete against PayPal and Square’s merchant services.
Time for change: Alex Chriss, who ran Intuit’s QuickBooks business, stepped in last month toreplace its retiring CEO. And Jack Dorsey, who co-founded Square, has retaken the CEO title at the competing fintech giant this month. With Chriss’ small business expertise, PayPal will aim to make more money by catering to its existing customers and merchants.