Analyst Sets Triple-Digit Goal for Square Stock

Stifel upped its price target on SQ shares to $100

Managing Editor
Sep 20, 2018 at 9:17 AM
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Square Inc (NYSE:SQ) stock is up 1.7% ahead of the bell today, after Stifel hiked its price target to $100 from $76. The analyst in coverage believes the company's new partnerships and "emerging financial services offerings (Cash App) will lead to higher levels of growth than previously forecasted." As such, the brokerage firm also upped its intermediate- and long-term revenue forecasts for Square.

The closest Square stock has come to triple digits is $92.91 back on Sept. 11. The technical strength of SQ shares has been well-documented; they've more than doubled in 2018, and nearly tripled in the last 12 months. This week, though, SQ has pulled back, and is on track to snap a six-week winning streak. However, the shares appear to have found support at the $84 level.

Despite all of these technical achievements on the charts, analysts remain skeptical. Of the 29 brokerages covering SQ, 16 rate it a "hold" or "strong sell." Furthermore, the security's consensus 12-month price target of $71.78 is a 15% discount to last night's closing price. In other words, more bull notes could drive the stock even higher in the short term.

In addition, near-term options traders seem to be quite skeptical toward SQ, based on the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.48, which ranks in the 85th percentile of its annual range. In other words, short-term traders have rarely been more put-heavy toward the security during the past year. An unwinding of pessimism in the options pits could also fuel further gains.

Lastly, the security has been a good target for premium buyers during the past year. That's according to its Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 95 out of 100, which shows Square has tended to make much bigger moves on the charts compared to what the options market was expecting.

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