Finance

Finance

PayPal sees 24% revenue growth in its latest quarter

PayPal impressed Wall Street when it reported fourth-quarter earnings after the bell on Wednesday. The global payments giant beat analyst expectations for both sales and profit. PayPal reported $3.71 billion in revenue on a foreign-exchange neutral basis, or 24% growth from the same period last year. Analysts were expecting $3.63 billion in revenue for the quarter. Adjusted earnings per share were 55 cents, compared to the 52 cents that Wall Street forecast. The company processed $131 billion in total payments volume for the fourth quarter, showcasing 32% growth. PayPal has grown to 227 million active customer accounts, after adding 8.7 million for the quarter. PayPal separated from eBay in 2015 and is currently the larger of the two companies, with a market cap of $103 billion. eBay is va...

The dollar keeps weakening. Is that good news for the world?

AT THE start of 2017, just before Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, a survey of fund managers by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) found they believed that being positive on the dollar was “the most crowded trade”. It turned out they were right to be cautious. On a trade-weighted basis, the currency has fallen by 9% against other major currencies in the past year. It is not clear what the Trump administration thinks about this. At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, said: “Obviously a weak dollar is good for us as it relates to trade and opportunities.” Although the rest of his statement was more nuanced, it is unusual for anyone in his position to depart from a “strong dollar” line. The greenback duly fell in price. Upgrade your in...

Bench bookkeeping service raises $18 million in funding

Bench, the TechStars-backed bookkeeping service for SMBs, has today announced the close of an $18 million B-1 funding round led by iNovia Capital. Existing investors, including Bain Capital Ventures, Altos Ventures, and Silicon Valley Bank, also participated in the round. Bench first launched out of TechStars NYC in 2012. Back then, the company was called 10Sheet, and it aimed to providing accounting/bookkeeping services to small businesses through machine learning and an intuitive user interface. Users simply integrated their corporate credit cards and bank accounts and let Bench do its thing, tracking transactions and expenses to handle basic accounting for a business. In 2013, 10Sheet relaunched as Bench with $2 million in seed funding, refocusing the business to more deeply involve hum...

CVS, other health stocks down upon Amazon, JPMorgan, Berkshire healthcare co news

Investors panicked this morning upon the news Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway were teaming up to launch a health insurance company for their U.S. employees. Healthcare is one of the biggest operating costs for Fortune 500 companies and the three iconic companies have joined forces to build a new health insurance company for all U.S. employees in an effort to improve satisfaction and reduce those costs. The new, yet-to-be-named company will “pursue this objective through an independent company that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints. The initial focus of the new company will be on technology solutions that will provide U.S. employees and their families with simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost,” according to a press releas...

Getting to the root of the revenue multiple

Steve Sloane Contributor Steve Sloane is a principal at Menlo Ventures. More posts by this contributor: With a regular drumbeat of news covering the cyclically high prices in the stock market, valuation concerns are top of mind for many investors. For those in tech investing, this concern is perhaps most acute, given the generally high multiples assigned to the sector. It was across this backdrop that I decided to examine something that has been bothering me for quite some time; specifically, why on earth have we become accustomed to valuing SaaS companies (both public and private ones) in terms of revenue multiples rather than more traditional measures of value such as earnings or free cash flow? After all, most people will recall from a basic accounting or finance course that cash is kin...

A travel agent is trying to charge fees for sunbeds

IN KEEPING with the trend for charging for things travellers used to get free, it should perhaps come as no surprise that sunbeds are the latest feature of a standard holiday on which travel agents are slapping extra fees. Thomas Cook, a British package-holiday firm, has announced that it will allow holidaymakers to pre-book poolside loungers for £22 ($31) per person. Six days before the start of a trip, travellers will get an email offering them the chance to reserve specific sunbeds. The booking tool will include a map that allows people to see where the sun will shine at various times of day. The experiment will start in late February at three hotels on the Canary Islands and will expand to 30 hotels this summer.  To some holidaymakers, this will seem like yet another attempt by the tra...

Amazon, JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway to build their own healthcare company

When you’re big enough and powerful enough, you don’t need to rely on the existing private healthcare providers out there to handle your employee medical needs. That’s what Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase have determined, and so they’re working together to build their own, fully independent employee healthcare company, which will exclusively offer benefits and care to their own respective employees and their families. The goal is to build a company which has no motives other than to provide for the care and wellbeing of the workforce of the three companies, and that will be “free from profit-making incentives and constraints,” per the Wall Street Journal. It’s described as a long-term plan, but it hopes ultimately to avoid the kind of frustration that can go along with trying...

Why don’t foreign investors take fright more often?

BACK in the days of the gold standard, central bankers were very concerned about the views of international investors. They believed that maintaining the value of their currencies would reassure creditors. That is why they were so resistant to the idea of floating currencies. Georges Bonnet, a French finance minister, put it best Who would be prepared to lend with the fear of being paid in depreciated currencies always before his eyes? Upgrade your inbox Receive our Daily Dispatch and Editors’ Picks newsletters. This fear still shows up from time to time. Under the old exchange rate mechanism, countries like Italy would undergo periodic devaluations to restore their competitiveness*. As a result, investors would demand a higher bond yield to compensate for this risk. When the single ...

How to board a plane without a boarding pass

EARLIER this month a woman arrived at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago without a ticket, boarding pass, or passport and flew to London. Prosecutors claim she did this by sneaking past officials from the Transportation Security Administration, a government agency responsible for airport security, while they were inspecting other travellers’ boarding passes. She was briefly thwarted when she tried to do the same thing at the boarding gate for a flight to Connecticut. But the gate agent caught her and asked her to sit down. After spending the night in the airport, she took the shuttle to the international terminal—again without the required boarding pass and passport—and got on a British Airways flight to Heathrow, where she was arrested on arrival. The woman, 66-year-old Marilyn Hartm...

U.S. banks’ Venmo alternative, Zelle, moved $75B last year, says 100,000 people enroll daily

Zelle, U.S. banks’ answer to mobile payment services like PayPal and Venmo, claims that nearly 100,000 consumers, on average, are signing up for its service per day. The company also painted a picture of growing traction, noting it processed over 247 million payments in 2017, an increase of over 45 percent year-over-year, totalling $75 billion in peer-to-peer payments, up from $55 billion the year prior. However, in 2016, Zelle was not “Zelle.” The service was previously called clearXchange, having grown out of consortium of top banks, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase, and operated by the bank-owned entity Early Warning. The banks had been working to develop their own alternative to popular mobile payment apps for years, but those efforts only recently began picking up mome...

Equity podcast: Netflix soars, Twitter loses a big bird, Lyft isn’t woke and more ICOs

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week we once again had the full crew on set: Matthew Lynley, Katie Roof, and myself. And even better, we were joined by Sarah Tavel from Benchmark, who helped us unspool a topic or three. And topics we had. This being earnings season, we had little choice but to talk about at least one public company’s results. Obviously we picked Netflix, a firm whose stock has gone parabolic as its cashflow has moved in the opposite direction. But as we discuss, in the era of infinite money for land grabs, why slow down? Next up was Twitter, from which a bird has flown the nest right into the arms of SoFi. Yes, SoFi is picking up Twitter’s COO for its CEO role. Regular lis...

Why drones could pose a greater risk to aircraft than birds

THE “Miracle on the Hudson”—the successful ditching of a US Airways jetliner into New York’s Hudson River in 2009 after it hit a flock of geese—taught frequent flyers two things. First, it really is possible to land an aircraft on water, just as is shown on seat-back safety cards. Second, and more worryingly, the incident showed how dangerous birds can be to aircraft, particularly when they get sucked into engines. The machines are supposed to be designed to withstand an impact by the feathered creatures. Using big guns, chickens have been fired at aircraft engines in safety tests since the 1950s. But what about drones? Upgrade your inbox Receive our Daily Dispatch and Editors’ Picks newsletters. New research suggests that small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can actually be much mo...