Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Square, Inc. (NYSE:SQ) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

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.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on SQ. KeyCorp reiterated an overweight rating on shares of Square in a report on Tuesday, July 18th. Deutsche Bank AG increased their target price on shares of Square to $28.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a hold rating and set a $24.00 target price on shares of Square in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a buy rating and set a $29.00 target price (up from $23.00) on shares of Square in a report on Sunday, July 30th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada increased their target price on shares of Square from $24.00 to $31.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Fourteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-three have given a buy rating to the stock. Square presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $32.37.

Shares of Square (SQ) opened at $44.18 on Tuesday. Square has a fifty-two week low of $12.08 and a fifty-two week high of $45.74. 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 (NYSE:SQ) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The technology company reported $0.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.05 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $257.12 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates 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 quarterly revenue was up 44.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.01 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Square will post -0.16 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, CFO Sarah Friar sold 38,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.58, for a total value of $982,272.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 366,103 shares in the company, valued at $9,364,914.74. The sale was disclosed in a document filed 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, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.15, for a total transaction of $15,660,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 507,732 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $19,877,707.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 1,394,791 shares of company stock valued at $45,611,401 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 32.68% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. acquired a new stake in shares of Square in the second quarter valued at about $117,000. Hudock Capital Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Square in the third quarter valued at about $157,000. Riverhead Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Square in the second quarter valued at about $149,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its stake in shares of Square by 19.4% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 6,752 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $158,000 after purchasing an additional 1,099 shares during the period. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Square in the third quarter valued at about $205,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.24% of the company’s stock.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Square (NYSE:SQ)

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