Bank Analysts Clash on Square Price Targets After Q4 Results

Analysts with Royal Bank of Canada and Goldman Sachs gave divergent estimates for the bitcoin-friendly payments firm.

Feb 24, 2021 at 7:55 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:16 p.m. UTC

At least two major banks walked away from Square's Q4 earnings report with diverging viewpoints on which direction the payments company's share price, which was at about $256 at the time of the company's earnings release Tuesday afternoon, will head next, according to investor notes viewed by CoinDesk.

Analysts at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) gave 19% upside for SQ and upgraded its price target to $305 from $257, predicting the company would "outperform" (roughly equivalent to buy). But their peers at Goldman Sachs, which rates SQ a "neutral," took the opposite perspective, notching a 4% downside that would put SQ at $246 this time next year.

(Goldman's rating actually was a slight upgrade from a Feb. 23 "first-take" investor note that targeted SQ at $216.)

RBC noted "management’s commitment to bitcoin as the currency of the internet" and was bullish on Square's capitalization of a "multi ecosystem opportunity." It estimated a 69% jump in 2021 bitcoin revenue that would generate Square $7.75 billion. Goldman was largely mum on the bitcoin upside, downgrading bitcoin revenue estimates for 2021 to $7.23 billion from $7.43 billion.

Even so "the margins on bitcoin revenues has continued to expand," Goldman's analysts wrote.

Square's Cash App generated $4.57 billion in bitcoin revenue in FY2020, contributing $97 million to gross profit.

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