Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Square, Inc. (NYSE:SQ) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday.

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.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on the company. Vetr downgraded Square from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $31.08 target price on the stock. in a report on Wednesday. KeyCorp boosted their target price on Square from $29.00 to $32.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Tuesday. Tigress Financial reissued a buy rating on shares of Square in a report on Monday, September 25th. Cantor Fitzgerald began coverage on Square in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. They issued an overweight rating and a $31.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Bank of America Corporation began coverage on Square in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. They issued a neutral rating on the stock. Thirteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $25.24.

Square (SQ) traded up 2.02% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $30.76. The company had a trading volume of 7,498,201 shares. The stock’s market capitalization is $11.80 billion. The company has a 50-day moving average of $27.00 and a 200-day moving average of $23.10. Square has a 12-month low of $10.88 and a 12-month high of $30.90. Square also was the target of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Stock traders bought 35,867 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 916% compared to the typical daily volume of 3,529 call options.

Square (NYSE:SQ) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The technology company reported ($0.04) EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.05) by $0.01. Square had a negative return on equity of 12.41% and a negative net margin of 4.13%. The business had revenue of $240.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $228.64 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted ($0.08) earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 40.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Square will post $0.24 EPS for the current fiscal 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 dated Tuesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.02, for a total value of $10,008,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 507,385 shares in the company, valued at $12,694,772.70. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Sarah Friar sold 19,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.41, for a total value of $545,472.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 366,103 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,400,986.23. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 972,800 shares of company stock valued at $25,520,512. 32.68% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Makena Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Square in the second quarter worth about $4,561,000. Royce & Associates LP increased its position in Square by 55.6% in the second quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 235,000 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $5,513,000 after buying an additional 84,000 shares in the last quarter. Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd increased its position in Square by 2.9% in the second quarter. Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd now owns 3,190,200 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $74,842,000 after buying an additional 90,200 shares in the last quarter. National Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Square in the first quarter worth about $177,000. Finally, Allen Operations LLC increased its position in Square by 7.2% in the second quarter. Allen Operations LLC now owns 210,825 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $4,946,000 after buying an additional 14,228 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 53.83% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Square (NYSE:SQ)

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