Square, Inc. (SQ) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research
Square, Inc. (NYSE:SQ) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $32.00 price objective on the technology company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 8.88% from the company’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “Square has outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. The company’s comprehensive commerce ecosystem, accelerated business growth and focus on integration, automation, and platform are key catalysts. The company's plan to open a wholly-owned brick-and-mortar bank is positive in our view. Meanwhile, automation is enabling the company to increase reach of financial system to more people, scale up its own operations and help sellers with advanced CRM tools. Moreover, the company displays consistent business growth through balancing investment and margin expansion. However, it’s currently a loss making enterprise, which doesn't augur with investors. Moreover, vulnerability to intense competition and changing technology, industry standards and seller and buyer needs pose signficant challenges.”
SQ has been the subject of several other reports. Vetr raised shares of Square from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $26.28 target price for the company in a report on Monday, July 10th. Citigroup Inc. boosted their price objective on shares of Square from $23.00 to $30.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 6th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $24.00 price objective on shares of Square in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $26.00 price objective (up from $25.00) on shares of Square in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $29.00 target price (up from $27.00) on shares of Square in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $24.95.
Square (SQ) opened at 29.39 on Tuesday. The stock’s market cap is $11.28 billion. Square has a 52 week low of $10.88 and a 52 week high of $29.55. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $26.71 and a 200-day moving average price of $22.95.
Square (NYSE:SQ) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The technology company reported ($0.04) EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.05) by $0.01. Square had a negative return on equity of 12.41% and a negative net margin of 4.13%. The firm had revenue of $240.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $228.64 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.08) earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 40.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Square will post $0.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other Square news, CFO Sarah Friar sold 19,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.25, for a total transaction of $504,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 368,791 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,680,763.75. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director James Morgan Jr. Mckelvey sold 400,000 shares of Square stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.02, for a total value of $10,008,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 507,385 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,694,772.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 972,800 shares of company stock worth $25,520,512. Company insiders own 32.68% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its position in shares of Square by 186.8% during the 1st quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 190,044 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $3,285,000 after buying an additional 123,787 shares in the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can grew its position in Square by 43.4% in the first quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 17,174 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $296,000 after acquiring an additional 5,200 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank grew its position in Square by 42.2% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 260,300 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $4,498,000 after acquiring an additional 77,200 shares in the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its position in Square by 74.7% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 71,660 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $1,238,000 after acquiring an additional 30,652 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sei Investments Co. grew its position in Square by 2.2% in the first quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 78,757 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $1,360,000 after acquiring an additional 1,692 shares in the last quarter. 53.83% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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.
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