PayPal Price Target Increased As Analyst Says The Stock Is The 'top Idea' For 2017

By Caitlin Huston Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of PayPal Holdings Inc. were climbing 1.3% in premarket trade Thursday after the price target was raised to $70 from $54 at Monness, Crespi, Hardt. James Cakmak, the analyst on the note, says PayPal was already the firm's "top idea" for 2017, followed by Alphabet Inc. , but that coming opportunities with PayPal's Venmo and with partnerships caused him to become even more bullish. PayPal announced a partnership with Apple Inc. Wednesday, in which PayPal can be used to pay for items in Apple's iTunes and other stores. This adds on to PayPal's expansion across mobile, Cakmak says, which included a partnership with Android Pay in April, which he believes is set to grow internationally. PayPal is a few months away from launching its Pay with Venmo option for U.S. businesses and that should bring a "lucrative funding source" to boost PayPal's margins. The offering could also grow with large businesses down the line. Additionally, Braintree, a payment platform and subsidiary of PayPal, appears poised for growth as it is partnered with Facebook Inc. , which may move deeper into social commerce as its works to have publishers pay to promote content on the platform. Cakmak reiterated his buy rating on the stock. Shares of PayPal have gained 33% in the past three months, outperforming the S&P 500 , which has gained 5%.

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