Uber's stock market woes are bad news for PayPal

October 10, 2019 0 By JohnValbyNation

PayPal Holdings Inc. will report a $228-million loss on investments before taxes in the third quarter, driven in large part by a bad bet on Uber Technologies Inc. just before it went public.

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The San Jose-based payments company said the investment in Uber, for $500 million at the initial public offering price, had declined 34%. Another investment, in Latin American online retailer MercadoLibre Inc., had declined 10%, PayPal said.

PayPal’s stake in the world’s largest ride-hailing business was tied to what the companies described as a closer collaboration on payments technology. Uber is the most prominent app to use PayPal’s nascent Pay With Venmo feature. But Uber’s stock has underperformed because of a combination of slowing growth and accelerated losses.

In an email, a PayPal spokeswoman cited the “inherent difficulty” in predicting the stock market for the mismatch between its previous forecast and reality. The company will report financial results on Oct. 23.