Twilio (NYSE: TWLO) and Square (NYSE:SQ) are both mid-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, dividends, earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and valuation.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Twilio and Square, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Twilio 1 2 14 0 2.76
Square 0 11 20 0 2.65

Twilio presently has a consensus target price of $38.13, indicating a potential upside of 19.73%. Square has a consensus target price of $25.95, indicating a potential downside of 20.23%. Given Twilio’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Twilio is more favorable than Square.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

58.1% of Twilio shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 54.0% of Square shares are held by institutional investors. 32.7% of Square shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Twilio and Square’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Twilio $336.73 million 8.69 -$34.74 million ($0.52) -61.25
Square $1.90 billion 6.57 -$41.20 million ($0.21) -154.90

Twilio has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Square. Square is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Twilio, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

Twilio has a beta of 3.24, suggesting that its stock price is 224% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Square has a beta of 4.78, suggesting that its stock price is 378% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Twilio and Square’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Twilio -13.42% -15.40% -12.25%
Square -4.13% -12.41% -5.36%

Summary

Square beats Twilio on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Twilio

Twilio Inc. offers Cloud Communications Platform, which enables developers to build, scale and operate real-time communications within software applications. The Company’s platform consists of Programmable Communications Cloud, Super Network and Business Model for Innovators. Its Programmable Communications Cloud software enables developers to embed voice, messaging, video and authentication capabilities into their applications through its Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Its Programmable Communications Cloud offers building blocks that enable its customers to build what they need. Its Programmable Communications Cloud includes Programmable Voice, Programmable Messaging, Programmable Video and Use Case APIs. The Super Network is its software layer that allows its customers’ software to communicate with connected devices globally. It interconnects with communications networks around the world.

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. With its offering, a seller can accept payments in person via magnetic stripe (a swipe), Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) (a dip), or Near Field Communication (NFC) (a tap); or online via Square Invoices, Square Virtual Terminal, or the seller’s Website. Once on its system, sellers gain access to technology and features, such as reporting and analytics, next-day settlements, digital receipts, payment dispute management and chargeback protection, and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. On the consumer (buyer) side, Square Cash offers individuals access to a way to send and receive money.

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