UPDATED 20:40 EDT / MAY 06 2021


Despite smashing revenue and profit forecasts, Square sees shares only inch up

Shares in Square Inc. rose only slightly in after-hours trading despite the financial services provider smashing analyst forecasts on both revenue and profit.

For the quarter ended March 31, Square reported revenue of $5.06 billion, a nearly fourfold increase from a year ago and up from $3.16 billion in the previous quarter. Square reported a profit of 41 cents per share before costs such as stock compensation. Analysts had been expecting a 16-cent-per-share profit on revenue of $3.36 billion.

Gross profit jumped 79% from a year ago, to $964 million. The company’s Cash App gross profit rocketed 171% from the same quarter of last year, to $495 million. Bitcoin, while accounting for $3.5 billion in revenue, delivered only $75 million in gross profit.

Square has seen its payment volume increase during the COVID-19 pandemic and the switch to digital payments, with gross payment volume rising 29% year-over-year. The company said that it had seen “strong growth in customer inflows during the first quarter, driven primarily by government fund disbursements, which helped lead to increased engagement and adoption of more products within our Cash App ecosystem.”

Gross payment volume, a figure representing transactions processed, came in at $29.8 billion in the quarter, up from $24.7 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

Notable highlights in the quarter included Square’s Cash Card, a debit card that allows users to spend funds in their Cash App wallets pass 10 million monthly users in March, while active weekly users increased to 7 million. The company also integrated its loyalty program into Cash App, allowing customers to manage rewards from the app.

Square once again declined to give estimates for the second quarter “given the uncertainty around the impact and severity of COVID-19” but did provide an update on how it’s currently tracking. The company said sellers are delivering strong gross profit growth year-over-year, with seller GPV up 144% in April year-over-year and a two-year compound annual growth rate of 21%.

“Looking ahead to the remainder of 2021, we believe two-year compound annual growth rates from 2019 through 2021 will help reflect underlying gross profit trends in each ecosystem,” Square said. “In the second quarter of 2021, Cash App will lap strong gross profit growth of 167% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2020 as government disbursements began in April 2020.”

Still, Square’s share price was up only about 2% in after-hours trading.

Image: Square

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