The last time I wrote about Square (NYSE:SQ) was in March when I named Square stock one of the best dual-class stocks to own for the long haul.
It wasn’t a story about how great a company Square is but rather an observation that CEO Jack Dorsey made an excellent call creating a dual-class share structure so that he could keep an eye on the company as its payments processing business grew in stature. From a financial perspective, it was a wise move.
Now it seems that Square wants to take a little market share from Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) and the rest of the players providing online ecommerce platforms for small, medium, and large businesses around the world.
I don’t know how successful Square’s going to be in this area, but if it achieves as much as it has in the rest of its business, Square stock is likely headed to $100 and beyond. Here’s why.
Expanded Omnichannel and Square Stock
On March 20, Square announced tweaks to two of its key products, Square Online Store and Square for Retail, which are by-products of its Weebly acquisition in 2018.
“It’s crucial that sellers are able to reach their buyers on any channel, whether in person, online, or in apps,” said David Rusenko, head of eCommerce at Square. “With the new Square Online Store, we’re excited to integrate Weebly technology and bring the Square omnichannel experience to everything from retail businesses to restaurants.”
People who follow the ecommerce game know that Square hasn’t been a leader in this area, opting to focus on its customers’ in-store experience, and that’s delivered plenty of business. But now it realizes that given the growth of omnichannel retail, it has to provide an ecommerce platform that meets the high expectations its hardware and software products already have provided for its managed payment solutions business, the backbone of the Square ecosystem.
“Square is quite behind in eCommerce – this new offering will start to help close that gap,” MoffettNathanson senior research analyst Lisa Ellis told Retail Dive in an email.
It’s clear that Square is firing a shot across the bow of Shopify and Magenta, the two most prominent players in ecommerce platforms for small- and medium-sized businesses.
RevTrax CEO Jonathan Treiber told Retail Dive in March that if Square “offers the platform for free and just charges for payments, [making] merchant adoption and switching much less costly,” it’s got a real shot at taking some of Shopify’s customers.
Square Stock and Earnings
Square announces its Q1 2019 results on May 1 after the markets close. Analysts expect it to earn $0.08 a share, 33% higher than in Q1 2018.
In 2019, Square expects annual revenue of at least $4.35 billion with adjusted earnings per share between $0.74 and $0.78. That’s 57% growth on the bottom line and 32% on the top line.
A big achievement in 2018 was the launch of its Square Card, a free business debit card that allows its sellers to separate business and personal expenses, a big help when it comes to tax time. Also, Square Cardholders get a 2.75% discount when making purchases from other Square sellers.
On the subscription and services-based revenue front, Square grew this segment of its business by 134% to $591.7 million or 18% of its overall revenue, up almost 700 basis points from 2017
The company’s got three goals moving forward: omnichannel commerce, financial services, and growing its current international markets. In the fourth quarter, revenue from products launched in the last five years accounted for 37% of overall revenue, up from 22% a year earlier.
Expect it to continue to deliver new products to drive all three of these areas, most notably in the omnichannel arena.
The Bottom Line on Square Stock
Late to the party, Square is sure to do what it takes to stick around for many years to come.
That said, I’m sure there are a lot of Shopify believers that scoff at the idea that Square can compete when it comes to e-commerce. Ultimately, they might be proven right.
But for now, Square is doing the sensible thing and providing its customers with a better ecommerce platform than it had before acquiring Weebly. Given its ability to push the innovation needle and sales from those new products, I like its chances.
At the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.