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

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Needham & Company LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $30.00 price objective (up previously from $20.00) on shares of Square in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their price objective on Square to $28.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $29.00 price objective (up previously from $23.00) on shares of Square in a report on Sunday, July 30th. BidaskClub cut Square from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, August 5th. Finally, Vetr cut Square from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $30.12 price objective for the company. in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Fourteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $32.28.

Shares of Square (NYSE:SQ) traded down $0.06 on Tuesday, reaching $39.92. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 8,113,313 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,285,865. Square has a 12 month low of $11.76 and a 12 month high of $40.19. The company has a quick ratio of 1.81, a current ratio of 1.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48.

Square (NYSE:SQ) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The technology company reported $0.07 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate 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 during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $244.95 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.01 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 44.6% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Square will post -0.16 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other Square news, Director James Morgan Jr. Mckelvey sold 400,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.72, for a total transaction of $13,088,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 507,732 shares in the company, valued at $16,612,991.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Sarah Friar sold 38,400 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, October 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.81, for a total value of $1,259,904.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 953,600 shares of company stock worth $28,343,040 over the last 90 days. 32.68% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Square by 114.7% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 23,888,617 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $560,427,000 after acquiring an additional 12,764,491 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Square by 73.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 19,034,862 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $446,558,000 after acquiring an additional 8,058,892 shares in the last quarter. Capital World Investors raised its stake in shares of Square by 32.8% in the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 15,597,830 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $365,925,000 after acquiring an additional 3,853,000 shares in the last quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH raised its stake in shares of Square by 31.0% in the third quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 13,302,170 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $383,235,000 after acquiring an additional 3,147,558 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in shares of Square by 5.8% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 9,076,600 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $212,937,000 after acquiring an additional 498,100 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds 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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