Square Joins Bitcoin Buzz, Stock Slips Post-Earnings

The company also purchased $170 million in bitcoin

Assistant Editor
Feb 24, 2021 at 10:48 AM
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The shares of Square Inc (NYSE:SQ) are down 6.8% at $239.23 at last check, despite the payment processor's upbeat quarterly report. The San Francisco-based tech name announced fourth-quarter earnings of 32 cents per share -- higher than the 24 cents anticipated by analysts -- as well as better-than-expected revenue. Furthermore, Square threw itself into the bitcoin ring today, announcing its recent purchase of an additional $170 million of the enigmatic cryptocurrency. Nevertheless, the broad market tech pullback appears to be weighing on SQ. 

In response, no fewer than 14 analysts raised their price targets on SQ, with the highest coming from Truist Securities to $325. There is still plenty of room for optimism that could serve as a tailwind, however, as 16 of the 36 analysts in coverage carry a "hold" or worse rating on the stock. 

Options traders are chiming in post-earnings as well, with overall volume running at three times what's typically seen at this point. More specifically, 78,000 calls and 37,000 puts have crossed the tape so far. The most active option, where new positions are being opened, expires at the end of this week. This would be the weekly 2/26 250-strike call, showing plenty of short-term traders betting on more upside for the equity.

On the charts, Square stock has taken a breather since its Feb. 16 record high of $283.18. However, the 60-day moving average appears to be keeping the recent pullback in check. On track for its fifth daily loss in the last six, SQ is still up around 202% year-over-year. 

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