Analyst Targets 45% Upside for Square Stock

Nomura Instinet said SQ is more attractive than FANG stocks

Sep 25, 2018 at 9:48 AM
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The shares of Square Inc (NYSE:SQ) have shot up 4.2% this morning to trade at $89.62, with the upside sparked by a pair of bullish brokerage notes. Nomura Instinet, for instance, raised its SQ price target to $125 from $86 -- a 45.3% premium to last night's close at $86.04. The analyst in coverage compared Square's ability to disrupt traditional markets to a similar quality found in FANG names, and said the stock is more attractive "than many payment peers and FANG stocks."

Jefferies also raised its price target on Square, to $88 from $63. Considering this target is in line with current trading levels, it's likely the brokerage firm is playing catch-up to Square's impressive price action. Underscoring this theory, the analyst in coverage maintained their "hold" rating, saying the market is already pricing in a high growth outlook for SQ, and is "accounting for little risk."

Optimism is running high on Square stock, with this morning's upwardly revised price targets coming on the heels of last week's bullish brokerage attention. However, the majority of analysts covering the financial technology stock still maintain a "hold" or "strong sell" rating, which leaves the door open for upgrades.

Options traders appear to be anticipating more upside for the surging stock, too. The October 90 call is home to peak open interest of 21,932 contracts, and data from the major options exchanges confirms significant buy-to-open activity here.

Looking at the charts, Square shares topped out at a record high of $92.91 on Sept. 11. A quick pullback from here was quickly contained by the stock's 30-day moving average, which -- alongside its 40-day counterpart -- has helped usher SQ to a 158% year-to-date gain.


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