Market Extra: PayPal raises $4 billion in debt deal as business soars during pandemic

Market Extra: PayPal raises $4 billion in debt deal as business soars during pandemic

12 May    Finance News

The coronavirus might be making paper money seem dirtier than ever.

PayPal Holdings Inc., a digital payments platform that helps money move online, raised $4 billion in the corporate bond market on Monday, underscoring how companies that make life under lockdown easier can also borrow cheaply.

The company’s 10-year slug of bonds priced at 160 basis points over Treasurys to yield about 2.3%, according to a person with direct knowledge of the dealings.

For context, that is less than what PayPal charges U.S. merchants for sales on its platform, which have skyrocketed over the past two months of nationwide lockdowns.

See: PayPal says May 1 was largest transaction day in its history, but first-quarter results fall short

PayPal PYPL, -0.69%, which is rated BBB+ by S&P Global Ratings, also sold three-, five- and 30-year bonds on Monday, with the longest-dated bonds pricing at a yield of about 3.25%.

Since proceeds have been earmarked to pay down a $3 billion revolver and for general corporate purposes, S&P said the new debt raise is largely “leverage neutral” for PayPal, which is “showing a much lower impact from COVID-19 than its peers.”

Its stock has soared 33% in the year to date.

“PayPal has been a direct beneficiary of COVID-19 in so many ways,” wrote a team of PeerIQ analysts in a weekly client note, noting that PayPal’s reach includes not only merchants seeing higher online transactions volumes and increased peer-to-peer payments, but also the recent addition of households and businesses looking to receive stimulus funds.

Both PayPal and its Venmo platform allow U.S. customers direct deposits of government relief aid under the CARES Act, rather than waiting for a paper check.

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The company also has been distributing small-business aid under the Trump administration’s hallmark program, a point Daniel Schulman, PayPal’s chief executive, underscored last week on the company’s earnings call, adding that it had distributed more than $1 billion in funds.

Read:Congressional committee demands these 5 public companies return coronavirus loans meant for small businesses

President Donald Trump has been urging more of the U.S. to open back up for business, a factor that led to mixed results for major U.S. stock benchmarks on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.44% ending 100 points lower.

Meanwhile, investment-grade U.S. companies keep borrowing at a record clip during the pandemic, with Goldman Sachs now forecasting issuance for the year to reach an all-time high of $1.5 trillion.

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