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It’s pay day for PayPal shareholders.

Shares in the electronic payments processor are racing higher on Wednesday after the company delivered expectation-beating first-quarter sales and earnings growth, boosted guidance and announced plans for a new $5bn share-buyback programme.

The company, which was spun off from eBay back in 2015, saw revenue for the first three months of the year jump 17 per cent to $2.975bn, compared to the prior-year period, as its investments into mobile payments continue to pay off.

Revenue came in well ahead of market estimates of $2.9bn. Adjusted net income of $534m, or 44 cents a share, also handily beat forecasts of $501.96m or 41 cents a share.

The strong performance prompted PayPal to raise its full year earnings outlook. It now expects 2017 GAAP earnings per diluted share to come in between $1.28-$1.33, compared to its previous outlook of $1.26-$1.31. Non-GAPP earnings per diluted share are now seen to be between $1.74-$1.79, up from the $1.69-$1.74 range it projected just three months ago.

While PayPal’s legacy centres around desktop transactions, the San Jose-based company has been investing heavily in mobile payments under chief executive Dan Schulman, including buying Xoom, a cross-border payment company in 2016.

The company also owns Venmo, a payments app popular among millennials in the US, and Braintree, a mobile payments platform that helps PayPal make money when someone takes an Uber or stays in an Airbnb.

Mobile payment volume increased 51 per cent during the first quarter to $32bn and now accounts for a third of total group payment volume.

“With another quarter of strong financial results, we continue to deliver on our vision to democratize financial services for our consumers and drive the global transition from cash to digital payments,” said Mr Schulman. “We are deepening our merchant offerings and relationships, and expanding our network of strategic partnerships to make PayPal more available in new contexts and new markets.”

PayPal also said it has authorised plans to buy back as much as $5bn in stocks once the current share buyback programme ends.

Shares in PayPal, which hit a fresh record high of $45.04 on Wednesday, jumped more than 6.3 per cent in extended trading.

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