Square, Inc. (NYSE:SQ) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Square provides payments and point-of-sale (POS) services. The company's adjusted loss in the second quarter of 2017 was in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate, while revenues surpassed the same.  Year to date, the stock has outperformed the Zacks Internet-Software industry. Square’s comprehensive commerce ecosystem, accelerated business growth and focus on integration, automation, and platform are positives. However, it’s currently a loss making business and vulnerability to intense competition and changing technology, industry standards and seller and buyer needs pose challenges.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Vetr upgraded shares of Square from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $22.17 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, May 11th. Morgan Stanley restated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $20.00 price objective (up previously from $17.00) on shares of Square in a report on Friday, May 19th. Citigroup Inc. lifted their price objective on shares of Square from $23.00 to $30.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 6th. BTIG Research restated a “buy” rating and issued a $20.00 price objective on shares of Square in a report on Friday, May 5th. Finally, Needham & Company LLC restated a “buy” rating and issued a $23.00 price objective (up previously from $20.00) on shares of Square in a report on Thursday, May 4th. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nineteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $24.61.

Square (SQ) traded up 1.896% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $25.688. 3,092,804 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $24.96 and its 200-day moving average is $19.56. Square has a 12-month low of $10.85 and a 12-month high of $27.97. The stock’s market capitalization is $9.67 billion.

Square (NYSE:SQ) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The technology company reported ($0.04) earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.05) by $0.01. Square had a negative net margin of 4.13% and a negative return on equity of 12.41%. The business had revenue of $240 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $228.64 million. During the same period last year, the business earned ($0.08) earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 40.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Square will post $0.19 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, Director James Morgan Jr. Mckelvey sold 90,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.36, for a total transaction of $2,102,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 186,308 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,352,154.88. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CFO Sarah Friar sold 19,200 shares of the business’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 sale, the chief financial officer now owns 368,791 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,680,763.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 914,900 shares of company stock valued at $20,202,610 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 32.68% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of SQ. Columbus Circle Investors increased its stake in Square by 0.8% in the first quarter. Columbus Circle Investors now owns 1,944,440 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $33,600,000 after buying an additional 14,691 shares during the period. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new stake in Square during the first quarter valued at approximately $301,000. Boston Advisors LLC increased its stake in Square by 112.7% in the first quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 774,365 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $13,381,000 after buying an additional 410,231 shares during the period. Cullinan Associates Inc. increased its stake in Square by 264.6% in the first quarter. Cullinan Associates Inc. now owns 82,400 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $1,424,000 after buying an additional 59,800 shares during the period. Finally, Howard Capital Management acquired a new stake in Square during the first quarter valued at approximately $518,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.25% of the company’s stock.

About Square

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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