PayPal's (NASDAQ:PYPL) fourth-quarter report failed to impress Wall Street, for some obvious headline-figure reasons. Profits fell 6%, and expenses grew faster than revenue. But as senior analyst Jim Mueller explains to MarketFoolery host Chris Hill in this segment of the podcast, oscillations in the profit figure are less important to him than the number of active accounts and transactions per active account. And by those measures -- and others, including Venmo growth -- PayPal is firing on all cylinders.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on Jan. 31, 2019.
Chris Hill: Let's move on to PayPal. Shares down a bit this morning. Fourth quarter profits fell 6%. PayPal's expenses grew more this quarter than the revenue grew. I say, though, as a shareholder, I think there's still a lot to like.
Jim Mueller: Oh, yeah! With this company, I'm not going to get too worried about varying amounts of revenue growth, as long as it's positive and healthy. With PayPal, I focus much more on to other numbers: the number of active accounts and how that is growing, and the number of transactions per active account. Both of those grew quite nicely. They had a record number of additions, 13.8 million net new adds to the active accounts. All but 2.9 million of those were organic. That roughly 11 million was the biggest amount of organic growth that they had ever seen. That's really good news. And not only more and more people are using it, they're using it more often. They're at 36.9 transactions per active account per month on a trailing basis. That's good. As long as they can keep on driving that, as long as they can keep on playing their, "We're going to be the mobile payments system of the world. We don't care who you are, where your money's coming from, what bank you're doing it with, what credit card or debit card you're doing with, we want to be in that transaction," these guys are going to do fine.
Hill: The Venmo activity continues to rise.
Mueller: Oh, 80% year over year on this one. And they're finally being able to monetize it. They've got the Venmo debit card, they've got Pay with Venmo, where you use Venmo at a merchant and they get a bit of that transaction.
Hill: They've also got $10 billion in cash on the balance sheet.
Mueller: [laughs] Yeah. I'm not worried!
Chris Hill owns shares of PayPal Holdings. Jim Mueller, CFA owns shares of PayPal Holdings and has the following options: short April 2019 $85 puts on PayPal Holdings, long January 2020 $82.50 calls on PayPal Holdings, and short January 2020 $82.50 puts on PayPal Holdings. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends PayPal Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.