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SQ Stock Is a Strong Buy After Q1 Earnings

Block (NYSE:SQ) is a clear winner of this earnings season. The digital payment company, formerly known as Square, has emerged as a leader in the fintech space. Its earnings report for this quarter wasn’t all positive, but it was enough to send SQ stock up in after-hours trading yesterday. While shares have been turbulent today, analysts remain bullish following the earnings report, foreseeing better things ahead for the company.

The logo for Block (SQ) is shown on a phone screen with the company's old name and logo, Square, visible behind the phone.
Source: Sergei Elagin /

What’s Happening With SQ Stock

As noted, SQ stock did not rise after yesterday’s call until markets had closed. Extended trading hours brought a 10% surge, but today, shares are back in the red. SQ began today by falling 9% but is already moving upward. As of this writing, it is only down 4% for the day and looks poised to pull back into the green soon.

It makes sense that SQ would be volatile after the earnings report brought both good and bad news. However, it is clear that the good far outweighs the bad as far as analysts are concerned. Let’s take a look at the factors at play here.

Why It Matters

The less-than-positive news is that Block did not meet expectations for revenue or earnings for the previous quarter. While that’s never a great sign for investors, the company did issue positive signals for its Cash App arm. Block’s gross profit for the mobile wallet system was $578 million, a figure that exceeded Wall Street expectations. And that number isn’t even including profit from Afterpay, an Australian buy now pay later (BNPL) app recently acquired by Block.

Another negative headwind that Block has been facing lately is the falling of cryptocurrency prices. Indeed, Bitcoin (BTC-USD) prices are plunging today, and many other cryptos are following. The market selloff that sent many tech stocks down yesterday has spread to digital assets, and risk-averse investors are backing off crypto plays. As weakening demand for crypto pushes prices down, companies like Block will be pushed down with it. However, most of Wall Street hasn’t soured on SQ stock.

Prior to the earnings report, SQ received two analyst upgrades. Since the report, it has received more. Mayank Tandon of Needham recently reiterated a “buy” rating and set a price target of $135. Mizuho Securities analyst Dan Dolev remains bullish on SQ, maintaining his “buy” rating and setting a $215 price target. Mark Palmer of BTIG isn’t quite so optimistic, but he also reiterated a “buy” rating and assigned SQ a price target of $175. The TipRanks analyst rating consensus is that SQ stock is a “strong buy,” with 30 analysts maintaining buy ratings.

In a note to investors, analyst Ramsey El-Assal of Barclays credited Cash App with being the “standout of Q1.” The mobile payments acquisition may be what saves the company.

What It Means

Clearly, Wall Street is choosing to see the big picture when it comes to SQ stock. They have plenty of reason to. As noted on the call, “Cash App generated $624 million of gross profit in the first quarter, an increase of 26% year-over-year and 94% on a three-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) basis.”

There’s no reason to expect that these growth trends won’t continue throughout the current quarter and beyond. And with the addition of Afterpay, Block will have another dynamic growth driver, particularly in international markets. SQ stock should definitely be on the radar of investors looking for bullish fintech plays.

On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Samuel O’Brient has been covering financial markets and analyzing economic policy for three-plus years. His areas of expertise involve electric vehicle (EV) stocks, green energy and NFTs. O’Brient loves helping everyone understand the complexities of economics. He is ranked in the top 15% of stock pickers on TipRanks.

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