Square (SQ) Receives Buy Rating from Stifel Nicolaus

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Stifel Nicolaus restated their buy rating on shares of Square (NYSE:SQ) in a research note released on Wednesday morning. Stifel Nicolaus currently has a $100.00 price objective on the technology company’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $76.00.

“We are raising our intermediate and long-term revenue forecasts and increasing our price target to $100 from $76 as we believe the ongoing penetration of larger merchants, Square’s new partnership efforts, and the company’s emerging financial services offerings (Cash App) will lead to higher levels of growth than previously forecasted. Partially offsetting our higher revenue estimates are a reduction in our FY:19 adj. EBITDA margin reflecting a higher level of investment in key strategic investment areas (omni-channel, financial services, and international) than previously modeled. We continue to believe Square is building a uniquely positioned omni- channel retail ecosystem and is effectively expanding its total addressable market with new products / features. Below we outline a few of the key areas that we believe will drive growth over the intermediate term.”,” Stifel Nicolaus’ analyst commented.

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on SQ. Guggenheim lifted their price objective on shares of Square from $75.00 to $100.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, August 29th. Stephens cut shares of Square from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating in a report on Tuesday, June 26th. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price objective on shares of Square from $53.00 to $65.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Wednesday, May 23rd. Nomura lifted their price objective on shares of Square from $65.00 to $82.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, June 21st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on shares of Square to $60.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Thursday, August 2nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and twenty have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $62.39.

NYSE:SQ traded up $1.32 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $86.12. The company had a trading volume of 140,598 shares, compared to its average volume of 11,142,834. The company has a current ratio of 2.18, a quick ratio of 2.18 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.99. The stock has a market capitalization of $36.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -866.90 and a beta of 4.36. Square has a twelve month low of $27.21 and a twelve month high of $92.92.

Square (NYSE:SQ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 1st. The technology company reported $0.13 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.01) by $0.14. The business had revenue of $385.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $367.99 million. Square had a negative net margin of 2.30% and a negative return on equity of 3.18%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 60.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.07 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Square will post -0.04 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Alyssa Henry sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.13, for a total transaction of $2,203,250.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 469,544 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $41,380,912.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director James Morgan Jr. Mckelvey sold 400,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.71, for a total transaction of $26,284,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 472,175 shares in the company, valued at $31,026,619.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 1,486,146 shares of company stock worth $110,508,116 over the last three months. 27.99% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in SQ. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its position in Square by 52.1% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 11,470 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $564,000 after acquiring an additional 3,930 shares during the period. American International Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Square by 39.9% in the first quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 8,057 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $396,000 after purchasing an additional 2,297 shares during the period. Aperio Group LLC raised its position in shares of Square by 69.3% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 25,076 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $1,234,000 after purchasing an additional 10,267 shares during the period. Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its position in shares of Square by 46.0% in the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 528,435 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $25,999,000 after purchasing an additional 166,599 shares during the period. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Square by 1,476.2% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,317 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $114,000 after purchasing an additional 2,170 shares during the period. 51.87% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Square (NYSE:SQ)

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