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Here’s how much a $1,000 investment in PayPal stock nine years ago would be worth today

PayPal (PYPL) is a household name when it comes to peer-to-peer and alternative payment methods. You’d think that if you bought the stock in July 2015, when it first started trading independently as PYPL, according to PYMNTS, you’d have a small fortune by now. But believe it or not, with a May 2 closing price of $66.98, you wouldn’t have even doubled your money.

That’s not to say that you wouldn’t have had plenty of opportunity to make impressive profits along the way if you had jumped ship at the right time. The fact is that PayPal has had a rollercoaster ride on the Nasdaq over the past decade.

For example, PayPal’s highest stock price came in July 2021 at 308.53, as shown by the macro trends. With an initial closing price of around $40, if you had timed everything perfectly and cashed out at the peak, your investment would have grown to $7,713 – and you would have made a profit of $6,713. Not bad. But if you had held on to your shares until today, your investment would have fallen to €1,702.16, giving you a profit of a much less attractive €702.

Why has PayPal lost value in recent years?

There are a few reasons for PayPal’s recent share price drop. First, PayPal is actually losing users. According to The Motley Fool (via Nasdaq), the user base has dropped by 10 million since 2022. With 425 million current active users, that’s not a lot, but it’s not the direction investors want to see. The decline is likely at least partly due to increased competition in payment apps.

Another possible reason for the share price decline is the slowdown in revenue growth, which has been stuck between 5% and 10% in recent years. That is a lot lower than the sales growth of sometimes more than 20% in 2021, as The Motley Fool outlined. Another trend that isn’t exactly getting investors excited.

Should You Buy PayPal Now?

This is a difficult decision. With a market capitalization higher than many of its peers, at nearly $70 billion, and a price/earnings ratio lower than many of its peers, at 16.85 (as of May 3), no one can blame you for you are betting on a turnaround at PayPal. But it’s just a different world today than it was in PayPal’s heyday, with more competition than ever before. So a stock purchase through PayPal should be viewed as a relatively solid value stock investment, but not as a way to crush the market.

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