Square, Inc. (SQ) Cut to “Hold” at Stifel Nicolaus

Stifel Nicolaus downgraded shares of Square, Inc. (NYSE:SQ) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday morning, Marketbeat reports. The firm currently has $36.00 price objective on the technology company’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $29.00.

“We are downgrading shares from Buy to Hold based on valuation. We continue to believe Square is building a uniquely positioned SMB services ecosystem and is effectively expanding its opportunity with new products/features, international expansion, and larger merchant penetration. Year-to-date, Square shares have risen by 168% vs. 15% for the S&P 500. Greater visibility into positive outcomes for Square’s key debates along with consolidation activity in the industry and strong technology/digital payments sentiment have lifted shares, in our view. We expect another strong quarter and are adjusting our estimates for the quarter and the year higher. Our new target price increases to $36.”,” the firm’s analyst commented.

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on SQ. Nomura upped their price objective on Square from $33.00 to $45.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. Deutsche Bank AG upped their price objective on Square to $37.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. Vetr upgraded Square from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $39.78 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. CIBC began coverage on Square in a report on Thursday, October 12th. They issued an outperform rating and a $35.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Square from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $37.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, October 16th. Twelve research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-two have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $28.14.

Square (NYSE SQ) opened at $36.89 on Wednesday. Square has a twelve month low of $11.43 and a twelve month high of $37.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.50, a current ratio of 2.30 and a quick ratio of 2.30.

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In other Square news, CFO Sarah Friar sold 38,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.58, for a total transaction of $982,272.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 366,103 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,364,914.74. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director James Morgan Jr. Mckelvey sold 400,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.22, for a total value of $10,888,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 507,385 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,811,019.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 1,353,600 shares of company stock worth $38,351,040. Corporate insiders own 32.68% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of SQ. FMR LLC grew its holdings in shares of Square by 114.7% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 23,888,617 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $560,427,000 after purchasing an additional 12,764,491 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Square by 73.4% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 19,034,862 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $446,558,000 after buying an additional 8,058,892 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Square by 7,162.2% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,383,325 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $93,023,000 after buying an additional 5,309,197 shares during the period. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Square by 556.5% during the second quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 4,594,445 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $107,786,000 after buying an additional 3,894,639 shares during the period. Finally, Capital World Investors boosted its stake in shares of Square by 32.8% during the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 15,597,830 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $365,925,000 after buying an additional 3,853,000 shares during the period. 54.04% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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