FAANG stocks (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet’s Google) may be getting all the attention from Wall Street and investors, but digital payment companies PayPal and Square could be better bets on the future of technology and payments.
Both stocks are up double-digits or more this year but have market capitalizations that are much smaller than their FAANG counterpoints. They are also in growth mode, launching new products, engaging in acquisitions and inking partnerships as the movement toward digital payments marches on.
PayPal A Darling Of Wall Street
Take PayPal for starters. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based digital payments stock is up more than 21% so far this year, with shares gaining nearly 5% in the past month alone. PayPal has a market capitalization of $106 billion, which is a far cry from the more than $1 trillion in value both Amazon and Apple commanded this summer.
It also has the praise of many on Wall Street with most of the firms that cover it rating it a strong buy. Instinent analyst Bill Carcache is the most recent one to heap praise on the payments company. Earlier this week he reiterated his buy rating and $120 price target, calling the company a “safe haven stock” similar to credit card companies Visa Inc. (V) and Mastercard Inc. (MA). The analyst noted in a research report covered by MarketWatchthat demand for Venmo debit cards is outstripping supply. Venmo is PayPal’s peer-to-peer payment app. At $120 a share, the Wall Street analyst thinks the stock can surge an additional nearly 35%.
PayPal Is In Growth, Buying Mode
It’s been a busy few months for PayPal, which was spun off from eBay back in July of 2015. Aiming to expand into new markets and offer more features, the company acquired iZettle in May for $2.2 billion. iZettle is a small business eCommerce platform operating mainly in Europe and Latin America. It followed up that acquisition with a purchase of payments company Hyperwallet in June for $400 million and its $120 million buy of Simility, the fraud protection company during the same month.
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