Square (SQ) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Square (NYSE:SQ) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Square 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. Notably, in past 12 months, the stock has substantially outperformed the industry it belongs to.”

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on SQ. BTIG Research downgraded Square from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $12.38 to $30.00 in a research note on Monday, November 27th. Vetr raised Square from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $51.38 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, November 23rd. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Square in a research note on Monday, November 20th. Wells Fargo & Co began coverage on Square in a research note on Tuesday, November 21st. They set a “market perform” rating and a $42.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “positive” rating and set a $37.00 price target (up from $31.00) on shares of Square in a research note on Monday, November 20th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and twenty-four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $36.13.

Square (SQ) opened at $43.61 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $16,950.00 and a PE ratio of -256.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48, a current ratio of 1.81 and a quick ratio of 1.81. Square has a 52 week low of $13.84 and a 52 week high of $49.56.

Square (NYSE:SQ) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 8th. The technology company reported $0.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.05 by $0.02. Square had a negative return on equity of 7.98% and a negative net margin of 3.04%. The company had revenue of $257.12 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $244.95 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.01 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 44.6% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Square will post -0.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Square news, CEO Jack Dorsey sold 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.48, for a total transaction of $2,024,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CAO Ajmere Dale sold 17,446 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.98, for a total value of $680,045.08. Following the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 134,518 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,243,511.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 1,669,532 shares of company stock valued at $65,210,218. 32.68% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Square by 1.1% during the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 46,166 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $1,084,000 after acquiring an additional 513 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its position in shares of Square by 8.5% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 11,706 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $274,000 after acquiring an additional 921 shares in the last quarter. US Bancorp DE lifted its position in shares of Square by 20.2% during the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 10,251 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $355,000 after acquiring an additional 1,724 shares in the last quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc lifted its position in shares of Square by 19.9% during the third quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 12,521 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $361,000 after acquiring an additional 2,075 shares in the last quarter. Finally, National Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Square by 21.6% during the second quarter. National Asset Management Inc. now owns 12,444 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $292,000 after acquiring an additional 2,209 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 54.31% of the company’s stock.

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Square Company Profile

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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