Analyst Sets Lofty Goal For Roaring Square Stock

Square stock has nearly doubled in 2018

Managing Editor
Jun 21, 2018 at 9:58 AM
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Square Inc (NYSE:SQ) stock is up 2.3% to trade at $69.16 this morning, and just notched a record high of $69.40, after Nomura boosted its price target to $82 from $65. The lofty price target -- representing a premium of more than 20% to the stock's close yesterday -- comes as the analyst waxed optimistic on the growth potential of the company's new Square for Restaurants point-of-sale program.

Just yesterday, SQ stock hit a record high after Evercore ISI set a price target of $73 following a meeting with Square CFO Sarah Friar. Over the past year, few stocks have had such a meteoric rise. Square stock has now nearly doubled in 2018, with pullbacks contained by its 100-day moving average, and is currently on track for an eight-week winning streak.

Despite the bullish analyst attention this week -- or the company's recent revenue forecast -- brokerages are still split over SQ stock. Of the 29 brokerages covering the security, 14 rate it a "hold" or "strong sell." Furthermore, SQ's average 12-month price target of $55.16 represents a roughly 20% discount to the stock's current perch. Should the security continue to vault up the charts, upgrades and more price-target hikes could provide tailwinds.

In the options pits, put buying has been a growing trend. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.51 ranks in the elevated 84th annual percentile. This indicates that, although calls have outpaced puts on an absolute basis, the rate of put buying has been quicker than usual. If Square stock keeps up its torrid pace, it could lead to an unwinding of these bearish bets.

Lastly, the equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) stands at a lofty 96 out of 100. This means Square stock has tended to make outsized moves relative to what the options market has priced in -- a boon to potential premium buyers.

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