Payment company Square earnings beat


Payment company Square reported second-quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates, thanks in part to higher transaction volumes and growth in subscription services.

Here’s how the company did compared with Thomson Reuters consensus estimates:

  • EPS: 13 cents per share vs. 11 cents expected.
  • Adjusted revenue: $385 million vs. $367.6 million expected.

Shares of the company fell 1.3 percent in after-hours trading.

Adjusted revenue grew 60 percent year over year, compared to Wall Street analysts’ expectations of 52.9 percent. Transaction-based revenue surged 30 percent to $625.2 million in the second quarter. Gross payment volume, the amount of payments processed by sellers, topped $21.4 billion and rose 30 percent in the quarter.

Square missed expectations for adjusted EPS guidance — it predicted between 8 and 10 cents for the third quarter, below analysts’ expectations of 13 cents. Square issued adjusted revenue guidance between $407 million and $412 million, which was above the $350.1 million to $408.2 million range Wall Street was expecting.

Square’s Chief Financial Officer Sarah Friar said the miss on third-quarter guidance was a result of “putting dollars back into the business.”

“If we build remarkable products, it will drive momentum on the top line,” Friar said on a call with reporters.

Dan Dolev, executive director and analyst at Nomura Instinet, said the guidance miss was more than offset by the massive revenue beat, and strength in Square’s Cash App.

“Investors will give the company a pass because there’s no weakness, they’re just reinvesting,” Dolev said. “As long as you continue to get that revenue growth, the stock will continue to work.”

Shares of the fintech start-up, which is run by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, have surged more than 140 percent in the past year and 88 percent this year alone.

The San Francisco-based company is best known as a credit card processor but also offers payment hardware. Its peer-to-peer Cash App is growing faster than PayPal’s Venmo, according to a recent Nomura report. The company has also increased its presence in small-business lending, most recently with an eBay partnership announced in July.

Square’s Cash App had a breakout quarter. Customers spent a total $250 million with Cash Card, nearly triple the amount they did in December, representing $3 billion on an annualized basis.

Square launched bitcoin trading through its Cash App in January. While it generated $37 million in revenue from bitcoin, the company left that and bitcoin-related costs out of its adjusted revenue.

The goal of bitcoin on the Cash App, and for now the company is not “trying to push on the monetization of bitcoin today,” Friar, the company’s CFO, said.

On the call with analysts, Square CEO Jack Dorsey highlighted strength in the company’s food-delivery app Caviar, which doubled its revenue year over year.

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