The above graph represents PayPal net income by year. In fiscal 2018, PayPal’s annual net income reached an all-time high of $2,057 million ($2.1 billion), globally. That’s a significant 14.6% YoY increase. However, the growth in PayPal’s net income in 2017 was a notable 28% YoY – from $ 1,401 million in 2016 to $1,795 million in 2017.
Surprisingly, in fiscal 2014, PayPal annual net income tanked 56% YoY, to $419 million. According to company’s 2015 sec filing, this sudden decrease in net income in 2014 compared to 2013 was primarily attributable to the recognition of deferred tax liabilities in 2014, relating to undistributed foreign earnings of certain foreign subsidiaries for 2013 and prior years which resulted in an increase in income tax expense in 2014. However, after one year, in December 2015, PayPal recorded a whopping 193% YoY growth in its net income, generated $1,228 million.
In the last 8 years, between 2011 and 2018, PayPal’s net income increased nearly 5 folds, from $460 million to $2,057 million.
Founded in December 1998 as Confinity Inc., by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek, and Ken Howery, PayPal Holding Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) was funded by John Malloy from BlurRun ventures.
However, it was March 2000, when Confinity merged with X.com, an online banking company founded by Elon Musk in November 1999. The visionary Musk was quick to visualise the future potential of the money transfer business Confinity was developing. In contrast to that, Bill Harris, the then-president and CEO of X.com, didn’t find much merit in Musk’s thoughts. Soon, Harris decided to part ways was Musk was determined to stay focused on Confinity money transfer service. He was so committed that he terminated the company’s all other Internet banking operations in order to remain focused on the money transfer business.
All these shifts created an impact on Elon Musk’s position in the company he was replaced by Peter Thiel as CEO of X.com. In the following year, the X.com was renamed as PayPal.
The astounding growth of PayPal convinced executives to launch the IPO of PayPal in 2002. After the celebrated acquisition by eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) in July 2020 which valued PayPal $1.5 billion – 7% above the IPO price – it was clear that PayPal is en route to become a global leader in money transfer business.
After thirteen years of being under the umbrella of eBay, PayPal once again became an independent publicly traded company.
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