PayPal’s First Ever Profit Announced
By Linda
Internet payment company PayPal [NASDAQ:PYPL] marked its inaugural quarterly earnings report as a publicly traded company yesterday by announcing its first-ever profit.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company that many online auction sellers, online casino punters, and small e-commerce ventures use to connect them with their customers' cash said its first quarter profit was $1.2 million, or 2 cents a share.

The profit, measured using generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), was a reversal of a $29.3 million loss in the same quarter a year ago, as revenue more than tripled to $48.8 million.

PayPal, which completed an initial public offering of stock in February, said that its profit on a pro-forma basis was $4.3 million, or 7 cents a share. Many analysts had been expecting the company to report earnings of about 4 cents a share by that same measure.

'The continued strong growth of PayPal's global network led to record payment volume, increased revenues and GAAP profitability in the first quarter,' Peter Thiel, the company's chief executive said in a prepared statement.

The quarter's revenue of $48.8 million was PayPal's take on $1.46 billion worth of transactions. In the final quarter of 2001, transactions totaling $1.21 billion had generated revenue of $40.1 million.

While PayPal's pay-by-e-mail system is often used by individuals to send money to friends and family - as gifts or as bail-outs for at- school offspring - the company said 90 percent of transactions in the past quarter involved merchant accounts, including sellers at online auctions.

The company estimated that second-quarter revenue could reach $52 million to $53 million, with earnings on a pro-forma basis of 7 cents to 8 cents a share. For the full year, PayPal predicted revenue of $220 million to $230 million, with pro-forma earnings of 34 cents to 36 cents a share.

On the Nasdaq today, PayPal's stock was unable to sustain an early- morning rise to more than $26 a share, settling back to near Wednesday's closing price of $25.30 by noon.

The stock had been priced at $13 a share for its IPO.

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