Square Stock Rises; Atlantic Equities Sees 'Substantial' Growth Prospects

By Rob Lenihan

Square  (SQ Get Square, Inc. Class A Report rose Tuesday after Atlantic Equities upgraded the Twitter-backed  (TWTR Get Twitter, Inc. Report financial-services platform to overweight from neutral with a $300 price target.

Shares of the San Francisco company at last check were rising 1.6% to $236.04.

Analyst Kunaal Malde said in a research note that the company's growth prospects "remain substantial" as it continues to disrupt consumer and business banking through "strong execution against a digital-first strategy," according to the Fly. 

Square's Cash App is a leading brand with network effects, innovates quickly and has "multiple monetization levers ahead," says the analyst. 

Further, Malde says the Afterpay acquisition adds incremental growth opportunities for Square in buy-now-pay-later and commerce. 

The analyst recommends taking advantage of the recent pullback in the stock. Square shares were off about 16% from the Aug. 5 close near $282 through the Monday close above $238.

Last week Jefferies analyst Trevor Williams upgraded Square to buy from hold with a price target of $300, up from $265 after assuming coverage of the company.

Wiliams called Square a "must-own over the long term as a proven innovator."

The analyst sees a "long runway for share gains" for the company's Seller and views the Cash App as "the leader within the crowded neobank category."

Williams added that Square's $29 billion takeover of Australia's Afterpay has the potential to add 12% to Square's pro-forma gross profit by fiscal 2025.

The deal is expected to close in early 2022 and will start adding to Square's bottom line in the first year. 

Square in August reported second-quarter earnings of 40 cents a share, swinging from a loss of 3 cents a share in the year-earlier quarter. The latest result came in ahead of the consensus analyst forecast of 30 cents. Revenue more than doubled (up 143%) to $4.68 billion.


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