PayPal’s fourth-quarter profit beats estimates, but forecast disappoints

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(Reuters) – Payments processor PayPal Holdings Inc’s (PYPL.O) fourth-quarter profit topped analysts’ forecasts on strength in its merchant services business, but the company gave a disappointing forecast for first-quarter earnings, sending its shares lower.

PayPal said on Wednesday its net income rose to $620 million or 50 cents per share in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $390 million or 32 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 55 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 52 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

PayPal’s platform saw high mobile phone usage during the holiday season, helping total payments volume rise 32 percent to $131.45 billion.

Net revenue climbed to $3.74 billion from $2.98 billion.

The company forecast first-quarter adjusted earnings of 52 cents to 54 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting 54 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of PayPal fell 4 percent in after-hours trading.

Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar