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Square (SQ) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

Zacks Equity Research
Citrix (CTXS) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of 8.55% and 1.54%, respectively, for the quarter ended March 2019. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?

Square (SQ) closed the most recent trading day at $69.10, moving +1.84% from the previous trading session. This change outpaced the S&P 500's 0.22% gain on the day. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 0.7%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.08%.

Coming into today, shares of the mobile payments services provider had gained 33.77% in the past month. In that same time, the Computer and Technology sector gained 7.59%, while the S&P 500 gained 9.27%.

Investors will be hoping for strength from SQ as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be February 26, 2019. In that report, analysts expect SQ to post earnings of $0.13 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 62.5%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $909.18 million, up 47.58% from the year-ago period.

Any recent changes to analyst estimates for SQ should also be noted by investors. These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about the company's business outlook.

Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.

Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection remained stagnant. SQ is currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

In terms of valuation, SQ is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 97.08. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 48.78, so we one might conclude that SQ is trading at a premium comparatively.

We can also see that SQ currently has a PEG ratio of 3.88. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. The Internet - Software was holding an average PEG ratio of 2.5 at yesterday's closing price.

The Internet - Software industry is part of the Computer and Technology sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 22, which puts it in the top 9% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com.

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