Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Square (NYSE:SQ) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $68.00 price objective on the technology company’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Square continues to benefit from its growing gross payments volume. Further, contributions from Weebly and Zesty buyouts remain major positives. Additionally, strong product lines such as Virtual Terminal, Instant Deposits, Cash Card, Square Register and Caviar are performing well. Hence, these are aiding the company’s top-line growth. Also, improving business loan processing via Square Capital is a tailwind. Further, growing adoption of Cash App in the bitcoin space remains positive for Square’s business growth. Notably, the stock has outperformed the industry it belongs to over a year. However, higher investments and increasing product development expenses might hurt margins. Further, intensifying competition and foreign exchange fluctuations remain headwinds.”
A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on SQ. Susquehanna Bancshares restated a neutral rating on shares of Square in a research report on Thursday, November 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Mizuho raised their price objective on Square from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, November 8th. Canaccord Genuity restated a buy rating and set a $95.00 price objective (up previously from $90.00) on shares of Square in a research report on Thursday, November 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Piper Jaffray Companies cut their price objective on Square from $94.00 to $92.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, November 8th. Finally, Nomura lifted their price target on Square from $107.00 to $108.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and twenty-two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $83.82.
Square (NYSE:SQ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 7th. The technology company reported $0.13 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.11 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $431.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $414.19 million. Square had a negative return on equity of 1.11% and a negative net margin of 0.87%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 67.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.07 earnings per share. As a group, analysts predict that Square will post -0.02 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other Square news, insider Ajmere Dale sold 2,048 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.76, for a total transaction of $146,964.48. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 88,621 shares in the company, valued at $6,359,442.96. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Jack Dorsey sold 103,035 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.57, for a total value of $5,313,514.95. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 2,620,097 shares of company stock valued at $176,615,860 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 27.99% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. New England Research & Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Square during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $463,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its stake in shares of Square by 3.1% during the fourth quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 36,157 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $2,028,000 after acquiring an additional 1,096 shares in the last quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new stake in shares of Square during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $235,000. Private Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Square during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $293,000. Finally, CENTRAL TRUST Co raised its stake in shares of Square by 18.3% during the fourth quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 10,896 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $611,000 after acquiring an additional 1,689 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 47.96% of the company’s stock.
Square Company Profile
Square, Inc provides payment and point-of-sale solutions in the United States and internationally. The company's commerce ecosystem includes point-of-sale software and hardware that enables sellers to turn mobile and computing devices into payment and point-of-sale solutions. It offers hardware products, including Magstripe reader, which enables swiped transactions of magnetic stripe cards; Contactless and chip reader that accepts EMV® chip cards and Near Field Communication payments; Chip card reader, which accepts EMV® chip cards and enables swiped transactions of magnetic stripe cards; Square Stand, which enables an iPad to be used as a payment terminal or full point of sale solution; and Square Register that combines its hardware, point-of-sale software, and payments technology, as well as managed payments solutions.
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