Square (SQ) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research
Square (NYSE:SQ) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday. The firm currently has a $49.00 price target on the technology company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 14.17% from the stock’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “Square has substantially outperformed the industry it belongs to in the past 12 months. The company is currently benifiting from strength in core payments business and operating expense leverage. The company’s comprehensive commerce ecosystem, accelerated business growth and focus on integration, automation, and platform are key catalysts. 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, vulnerability to intense competition and changing technology, industry standards and seller and buyer needs pose significant challenges.”
A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Square to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 16th. Vetr upgraded shares of Square from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $39.78 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Evercore ISI upgraded shares of Square from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $51.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Stephens restated an “overweight” rating and set a $38.00 price objective (up previously from $34.00) on shares of Square in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Guggenheim upgraded shares of Square from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and twenty-five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $36.96.
Square (NYSE:SQ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 8th. The technology company reported $0.07 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.05 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $257.12 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $244.95 million. Square had a negative net margin of 3.04% and a negative return on equity of 7.98%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 44.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.01 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Square will post -0.15 earnings per share for the current year.
In other news, insider Ajmere Dale sold 1,451 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, January 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.00, for a total value of $58,040.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 109,586 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,383,440. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Sarah Friar sold 38,400 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.24, for a total transaction of $1,814,016.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 355,566 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,796,937.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 1,669,532 shares of company stock valued at $65,210,218. Corporate insiders own 32.68% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Square by 1.1% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 46,166 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $1,084,000 after purchasing an additional 513 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its stake in Square by 8.5% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 11,706 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $274,000 after acquiring an additional 921 shares in the last quarter. US Bancorp DE grew its stake in Square by 20.2% during the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 10,251 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $355,000 after acquiring an additional 1,724 shares in the last quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc grew its stake in Square by 19.9% during the third quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 12,521 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $361,000 after acquiring an additional 2,075 shares in the last quarter. Finally, National Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in Square by 21.6% during the second quarter. National Asset Management Inc. now owns 12,444 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $292,000 after acquiring an additional 2,209 shares in the last quarter. 54.66% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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