Is PayPal (PYPL) Still a Great Investment Choice?

Polen Capital, an investment management firm, published its “Polen Focus Growth” third quarter 2021 investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. A quarterly gross return of 2.78% was delivered by the fund for the third quarter of 2021, outperforming both its Russell 1000 Growth benchmark that delivered a 1.16% return, and the S&P 500 Index that had a 0.59% gain for the same period. You can take a look at the fund’s top 5 holdings to have an idea about their best picks for 2021.

Polen Capital, in its Q3 2021 investor letter, mentioned PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) and discussed its stance on the firm. PayPal Holdings, Inc. is a San Jose, California-based financial technology company with a $293 billion market capitalization. PYPL delivered a 6.29% return since the beginning of the year, while its 12-month returns are up by 26.21%. The stock closed at $240.40 per share on October 22, 2021.

Here is what Polen Capital has to say about PayPal Holdings, Inc. in its Q3 2021 investor letter:

“Despite reporting solid earnings results, PayPal moved lower during the quarter. We believe the decline was primarily due to the company reporting near-term growth headwinds from the remainder of its eBay payment volumes, which have declined faster than expected. Our expectations included PayPal’s payment volumes from eBay declining rapidly, and much more importantly in our view, the fast-paced growth of the rest of PayPal’s payment volumes. This growth has been due to the increased adoption of its digital wallets (PayPal and Venmo) and checkout buttons. The shift to digital payments and e-commerce are significant tailwinds for PayPal. The pandemic further catalyzed these tailwinds, and we believe the move to digital payments is here to stay.”

Paypal PYPL Mastercard MA Visa /

Based on our calculations, PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) ranks 9th in our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. PYPL was in 143 hedge fund portfolios at the end of the first half of 2021. PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) delivered a -18.87% return in the past 3 months.

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 115 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

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Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.