Square (NYSE:SQ) continues its slide. The San Francisco-based payment services company has moved lower even as its peers continue to see their stocks go higher. Despite a steady decline, analysts have mostly held to their price targets on Square stock. Although SQ may remain range-bound for some time to come, investors now have an opportunity to make a trade.
Given Square’s recent trading activity, where it goes from here remains in question. The stock has fallen steadily since its 2019 peak of $82.78 per share in late February. The company provided weak guidance in its quarterly report on May 1. Hence, earnings and revenue beats for the most recent quarter failed to stem the tide. As a result, SQ trades near the $65 per share level.
What makes this more confusing is that our increasingly cashless society will require Square’s services. This trend has benefitted peers such as PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) over the last year. Consequently, PayPal and peers such as Visa (NYSE:V), Mastercard (NYSE:MA), and American Express (NYSE:AXP) have exhibited remarkably similar trading patterns over the last year.
I had taken a bearish position on Square stock in recent months. Even with an improving outlook, I thought SQ would face short-term pain back in March. However, with a further 15%, I have recently begun to hold a more bullish outlook.
Square Stock Should Clear Targets
Analysts appear to agree. The average price target on SQ currently stands at $83.50 per share, very close to the stock’s 2019 high. On the low end, one analyst set a $30 per share price target. I could see such a price in a recession. However, with a growing economy and a predicted earnings growth rate of 59.6% this year, I do not think such an outcome will occur.
The highest current price target comes in at $101 per share, near the level of its 52-week high. Hence, barring a recession, SQ stock should remain in its range for now.
The good news for SQ bulls is that the stock price can rise even if Square remains range-bound. Although profit growth will fall modestly, Wall Street predicts that earnings will still grow at an average rate of 45.47% per year over the next five years. Currently, SQ also supports a forward price-to-earnings (PE) ratio of about 57. With its current level of profit growth, I do not see the PE ratio falling significantly in the near term.
Square Stock and Expansion
For investors who want to look beyond the short term, Square also continues to bolster its ecosystem with new products and initiatives. One example involves its Square Online store.
After acquiring Weebly, it was able to offer clients a more comprehensive online store. This now makes Square a competitor of Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) and expands its reach in the fast-growing e-commerce industry. Now, with its recent alliance with Postmates, the reach of its ecosystem expands further.
Financial services has also become a focus. Square already makes business loans. In recent months, it has also attempted to expand on its Cash App and break into banking itself. However, this move to gain FDIC approval and become an industrial loan company still needs to pass regulatory hurdles.
Moreover, Square has only scratched the surface of its potential reach. Currently, the company only operates in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, and the U.K. Though it has not announced plans to move into other countries, it holds tremendous potential offshore.
All of these factors should eventually translate into growth for SQ stock, even if the equity remains range-bound for some time to come.
The Bottom Line on Square Stock
Thanks to the falling price, traders have an improved opportunity for short-term gain as the long-term outlook improves for investors. A falling stock price continues to take SQ toward the lower end of its current range.
Analysts have held to their $83.50 per share price target. Further, Square continues to expand its ecosystem as they add e-commerce storefronts, small business loans, and delivery. The company also offers a bright future to investors with likely moves into banking and other foreign markets.
Whether one wants to make a short-term trade or build a long-term investment, SQ stock has fallen to a level where both types of investors can likely swipe in profits.
As of this writing, Will Healy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. You can follow Will on Twitter at @HealyWriting.
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