Block (SQ), the payments company formerly called Square, should try to play down its association with bitcoin because the link is holding back its stock, which would otherwise benefit from the company's improving business fundamentals, Mizuho equity research analyst Dan Dolev wrote in a note to clients.
- While bitcoin has accounted for about 4% of total company gross profit over the last two years, the proportion is declining, Dolev said.
- Excluding bitcoin, gross profit is accelerating for Block, and its payments service Cash App showed strong engagement in March, Dolev added.
- Mizuho lowered its price target to $135 from $215, while maintaining its buy recommendation. Shares of the San Francisco-based company have lost more than 50% this year and were trading at about $74 on Thursday.
- Disassociating from bitcoin may be challenge. CEO Jack Dorsey is a bitcoin fan, has heavily promoted and supported the development of the blockchain-based Lightning Network and added bitcoin functionality to Cash App, among other moves.
- Cash App generated $1.73 billion in bitcoin transactions and $43 million of gross profit in the first quarter.
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