Another Analyst Warms to Square Stock

Wells Fargo thinks SQ's negative sentiment is already priced in

by Patrick Martin

Published on Sep 26, 2019 at 10:02 AM

When we checked in with Square Inc (NYSE:SQ) last month, J.P. Morgan Securities was saying to "buy the dip." Today, Wells Fargo is echoing that sentiment, upgrading Square to "outperform" from "market perform." The analyst in coverage glowed about the company's fundamentals and valuation, and noted that negative investor sentiment is already baked in. 

The bull note has SQ stock up 3.6% to trade at $60.62 at last check, on track for its best day since July 9. Heading into today, the shares were down 19.2% this quarter, with their descending 20-day moving average applying pressure since an earnings-induced bear gap on Aug. 2. This trendline is set to be toppled today, as the equity eyes its best week since July 12. 

As the analyst implied, there's a tremendous amount of pessimism surrounding Square stock. For starters, of the 32 analysts in the brokerage community, 17 rate SQ a "hold" or "strong sell." Plus, short interest accounts for 10.3% of SQ's total available float and 3.9 times the average daily trading volume. In short, the security is ripe for not only more bullish analyst attention, but a short squeeze to fuel additional gains.

Over in the options pits, there's more pessimism to be unwound. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.55, ranks 3 percentage points from an annual high. In other words, short-term speculators are more put-heavy than usual toward SQ.

Options traders should note that the Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) for Square of 38% ranks in the 14th annual percentile, showing relatively low volatility expectations at the moment. The shares have shown a tendency to make big moves in the past year, too, since the Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) comes in at 91.

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