Indian fintech giant Paytm has disclosed its financial results for the first quarter (Q1) of the financial year 2023-24 (FY24). The results showcased a mix of progress and challenges.
Revenue Growth and Narrowing Losses
Paytm's Q1 FY24 financials painted a positive picture with a notable 39% growth in revenue, reaching Rs 2,342 Crores. This impressive revenue surge was mainly fueled by the continued momentum in gross merchandise volume (GMV), merchant subscription revenues, and loan disbursals.
However, amidst the encouraging top-line growth, Paytm faced challenges in managing its losses.
Although the company succeeded in nearly halving its losses compared to Q1 FY23, with losses amounting to Rs 358.4 Crores in Q1 FY24, it experienced a significant increase in losses compared to the preceding quarter, up by 113%.
EBITDA Performance and ESOP Costs
Paytm's consistent progress in the EBITDA department was evident, as it reported a third consecutive EBITDA positive quarter (excluding employee stock option costs). For the quarter under review, EBITDA before ESOP costs grew to Rs 84 crore compared to Rs 52 crore in Q4 FY23 (excluding UPI incentives).
Paytm's revenue jumped 39 per cent y-o-y to Rs 2,342 crore. The company's EBITDA for Q1 FY24 stood at Rs 84 crore, showcasing a remarkable improvement compared to an EBITDA loss of Rs 275 crore in Q1 FY23.
This positive trend reflects the efforts to optimize operational efficiencies and drive sustainable growth. However, also faced challenges in managing its employee stock option costs (ESOP).
Despite the positive financial performance, ESOP costs witnessed a YoY increase of nearly 5%, amounting to Rs 377 crore in Q1 FY24. Paytm aims to navigate through these ESOP challenges and strengthen its EBITDA performance further to ensure sustained profitability and value creation for its stakeholders.
Lending Business Growth
Paytm's lending business showcased impressive growth in Q1 FY24, signifying its successful foray into financial services.
The company disbursed a staggering 1.28 crore loans worth Rs 14,845 crore during the quarter, representing a remarkable YoY increase of 51% and 167%, respectively.
This performance highlights Paytm's growing presence as a major player in the lending space, catering to the credit needs of millions of consumers and businesses.
Additionon of Shriram Finance as a new lending partner strengthened Paytm's lending portfolio and diversification efforts.
Operational metrics and user base expansion
Paytm's operational metrics demonstrated robust growth during Q1 FY24, reinforcing its position as a leading digital ecosystem in India.
The GMV processed by the platform soared by an impressive 37% YoY, reaching Rs 4.05 Lakh crore. This significant increase reflects Paytm's success in attracting more consumers and merchants to its platform for various transactions.
The total number of transactions surpassed 963 crores, reflecting a YoY growth of 57%, reaffirming the company's popularity and user engagement.
Moreover, The fintech firm continued to expand its user base, with monthly transacting users (MTUs) growing by 23% YoY, totalling 9.2 Crores in Q1 FY24. Additionally, the number of registered merchants on the platform saw a significant rise of 25%, reaching 3.56 Crores by June 2023.
Regulatory hurdles and IPO performance
Despite the positive financial performance, Paytm faced regulatory challenges, particularly concerning obtaining a payments aggregator license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The company continued seeking approval for past investments from One97 Communications into Paytm Payments Services Limited (PPSL).
Paytm's much-anticipated stock market debut took place on July 21, 2023. The stock is listed at Rs 1,950 per share on the NSE, with a 9% discount compared to its IPO price of Rs 2,150 per share. Although the IPO was subscribed 1.89 times, indicating strong investor interest, the stock's closing price on the first day was Rs 1,564 per share, representing a 27% decline from its issue price.
Goldman Sachs and CLSA increase target price.
Paytm has garnered increased confidence from prominent financial analysts, resulting in a surge in its stock target price.
US-based Goldman Sachs raised the target price to Rs 1,200, citing Paytm as not only the fastest-growing company in India but also the most profitable.
Additionally, CLSA has a 'Buy' rating on the stock and raised its 12-month target price to Rs 1,050, emphasizing the impressive growth trajectory of Paytm's payments devices. Both firms see significant potential for Paytm to achieve positive net income in the full fiscal year 2025, reinforcing the company's position as a promising investment.
BofA and Motilal Oswal Express Optimism
BofA and Motilal Oswal Financial Services have also expressed their bullish outlook on Paytm's stock price. BofA expects the stock to climb approximately 21% to ₹1,020, as it remains confident in Paytm's growth trajectory.
The firm has maintained a 'Buy' rating on the stock, endorsing Paytm's potential for sustained growth. On the other hand, Motilal Oswal Financial Services predicts a potential rally of 19% for Paytm's stock price, raising the target price to Rs 1,000.
The brokerage firm has a 'Buy' rating based on its belief that Paytm is on track to achieve earnings breakeven in FY25. The management's commitment to becoming free cash flow positive before the end of FY24 further reinforces analyst confidence.
As Paytm continues to demonstrate steady improvement in contribution margin and operating leverage, analysts anticipate a positive impact on operating profitability, adding to the allure of the stock.
Paytm's Q1 FY24 financial results demonstrated impressive revenue growth and a notable loss reduction. Its thriving lending business and operational metrics underscored its strong market position. However, regulatory challenges and fluctuations in stock performance raised concerns.
Paytm must address these issues and continue pursuing its strategic goals to ensure sustainable profitability in the fiercely competitive fintech landscape.
While the financial results and market performance show promising potential, the company's ability to navigate challenges and maintain a focused approach will be crucial in sustaining growth and winning the trust of investors and customers alike.