Square (NYSE: SQ) is one of 68 public companies in the “Application Software” industry, but how does it compare to its rivals? We will compare Square to similar businesses based on the strength of its earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation and risk.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Square and its rivals revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue NetIncome Price/Earnings Ratio
Square $1.71 billion -$171.59 million -245.06
Square Competitors $954.67 million $64.66 million 461.79

Square has higher revenue, but lower earnings than its rivals. Square is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its rivals, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Risk & Volatility

Square has a beta of 4.96, suggesting that its stock price is 396% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Square’s rivals have a beta of 1.14, suggesting that their average stock price is 14% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Square and its rivals, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Square 0 13 19 0 2.59
Square Competitors 190 1573 2970 98 2.62

Square currently has a consensus price target of $31.22, suggesting a potential downside of 20.39%. As a group, “Application Software” companies have a potential upside of 10.11%. Given Square’s rivals stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Square has less favorable growth aspects than its rivals.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

53.9% of Square shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 68.5% of shares of all “Application Software” companies are held by institutional investors. 32.7% of Square shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 15.6% of shares of all “Application Software” companies are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.


This table compares Square and its rivals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Square -3.04% -7.98% -3.18%
Square Competitors -67.65% -110.30% -18.08%

About Square

Square, Inc. (Square) is a commerce ecosystem. The Company enables its sellers start, run and grow their businesses. It combines software with hardware to enable sellers to turn mobile devices and computing devices into payments and point-of-sale solutions. Once a seller downloads the Square Point of Sale mobile application, they can take their first payment. With its offering, a seller can accept payments in person via magnetic stripe (a swipe), Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) (a dip), or Near Field Communication (NFC) (a tap); or online via Square Invoices, Square Virtual Terminal, or the seller’s Website. Once on its system, sellers gain access to technology and features, such as reporting and analytics, next-day settlements, digital receipts, payment dispute management and chargeback protection, and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. On the consumer (buyer) side, Square Cash offers individuals access to a way to send and receive money.

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