Shares of PayPal gained 5.4 percent to close at $40.48 in its first day trading as an independent firm, having a market capitalization of $49.4 billion.

The company, which completed its separation from eBay Inc. on Friday, trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol “PYPL,” the same stock ticker it used before it was bought by eBay in 2002. The company was founded in 1998.

Shares of PayPal priced in the range of $39.80 to $42.50 during the day. About 24.7 million shares changed hands during the morning trading session, and by the end of the day 51 million shares were traded.

In contrast, eBay finished the day up 2.3 percent to $28.56. Separated from PayPal, eBay now has a market cap of $34.7 billion.

Dan Schulman, the chief executive officer of PayPal, in a blog post, said, “We’ve entered a time of unprecedented change that will revolutionize the role that money plays in people’s lives. Right now every aspect of commerce is being rewired on a global basis. The convergence of mobile technology and cloud computing is unleashing incredible opportunities to transform how people move and manage money, and how merchants and consumers interact and transact.”

Schulman noted the opportunities in front of the company, given the economic backdrop of mobile payments.

“We operate in the fast-growing online and mobile segments of digital payments, which combined form a $2.5 trillion e-commerce market. But our real potential is many times larger. Together, buying online and shopping in stores create a world of commerce worth $25 trillion. As we move into an era when mobile experiences will erase the distinction between the two, it is this much larger market that we see as PayPal’s true opportunity,” the ceo said.

According to Schulman, last year the company processed 4 billion payments for individuals on a global basis, connecting people to each other and sending nearly $235 billion through its payments network. He also noted that on a typical day, PayPal customers help to crowd-fund almost $1 million to support new ideas.

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