PayPal: A Bellwether for Earnings Season

04/15/2019 5:00 am EST

Focus: TECHNOLOGY

Todd Shaver

Founder and Editor-in-Chief, BullMarket.com

PayPal (PYPL), which reports earnings on April 24, is an important bellwether for us because it's so reliable. Revenue generally climbs around 17% a year, quarter after quarter, notes Todd Shaver, editor of BullMarket Report.

Between that and emerging efficiencies of scale, earnings have been on a 20% growth ramp for years and we see no reason to doubt that the trend won't continue for the foreseeable future.

Occasionally a particular quarter comes in better than usual and the stock surges. More often, management hits its guidance and confirms that we can expect more of the same.

Repeat every three months and it's no wonder that PayPal has soared 240% since we added it to the Stocks For Success portfolio in 2016, barely three years ago. The 20% earnings growth ramp has translated into the stock hitting a 50% annual compound return, which is fantastic.

This time around, expectations are on the low side. Given all the global economic cross currents we saw last quarter, we'd be content with 12% revenue growth feeding 16% to the bottom line, for absolute numbers of $4.1 billion and $800 million, respectively.

That's enough to support PayPal at a 36X earnings multiple now and a year from now the fundamental trend can easily extend the current record-breaking run beyond $125.

Since the stock is now above our $106 price target, we're raising our own sights to that $125 level now. We wouldn't sell PayPal as long as the trend continues.

And that's what the conference call will give us on April 24th — clarity on not just the trailing quarter, but management's sense of where the numbers will take the company, the stock and its shareholders over the coming year.

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