Square, Inc. SQ is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2018 results on Feb 27.
The company surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters with average beat of 17.66%.
In the las t report ed quarter, Square delivered a positive earnings surprise of 18.18%. Adjusted earnings came in 13 cents, soaring 85.7% on a year-over-year basis and came in line on a sequential basis. The figure exceeded management's guided range of 8-10 cents per share.
Net revenues of $882.12 million surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $860.52 million and also came ahead of the revised guided range of $840-$860 million. The figure increased 51% from the year-ago quarter and 8.2% on a sequential basis.
Positive contributions from Weebly and Zesty buyouts, accelerating bitcoin revenues and robust Gross Payment Volume ("GPV") drove the top line in the third quarter.
For fourth-quarter 2018, management anticipates net revenues between $895 million and $905 million. Further, adjusted earnings are expected in the range of 12 to 13 cents per share.
Coming to the price performance, shares of Square have returned 66% over a year, outperforming the industry 's rally of 12.1%.
Let's see how things are shaping up for this announcement.
Seller Base Strength: A Key Catalyst
Strengthening seller base of the company on the back of its comprehensive commerce ecosystem and product integrations will continue to drive business growth.
During the fourth quarter, the company teamed up with AP Intego Insurance Group, Guideline 401(k), Alice, and SimplyInsured, and added some useful and significant employee benefits to its payroll product, Square Payroll. Notably, Square Payroll is especially designed for small businesses.
With this, Square enables the small sellers or businesses to offer benefits like health insurance, pre-tax spending, retirement savings and workers' compensation to their employees, in turn providing facilities like big businesses and delivering better work experience.
All these benefits will aid Square in retaining the existing sellers as well as attracting new sellers to its platform.
Further, robust Square Solutions Partner Program is expected to continue enhancing the company's connectivity with sellers.
All these endeavors are likely to benefit the to-be-reported quarter results.
Square, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
Upswing in GPV
GPV remains the key growth metric for Square.
Square defines larger sellers as those which make more than $125,000 of annualized GPV and midmarket sellers as those which make more than $500,000 of annualized revenues.
In the third quarter, GPV came in $22.49 billion, increasing 29.3% year over year and 5.1% on a sequential basis. Further, the figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $22.45 billion.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for GPV for fourth quarter is currently projected at $22.97 billion, exhibiting impressive growth of 27.9% compared with the year-ago quarter's figure.
We believe the company's strengthening relationships with the sellers along with an expanding product portfolio will continue to accelerate GPV figure in the to-be-reported quarter.
What Our Model Says
According to the Zacks model, a company with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) has good chance of beating estimates if it also has a positive Earnings ESP . The Sell-rated stocks (Zacks Rank #4 or 5) are best avoided. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they're reported with our Earnings ESP Filter .
Square has a Zacks Rank #2 and an Earnings ESP of +5.95%, which makes us reasonably confident of an earnings beat.
Other Stocks That Warrant a Look
Here are few other stocks worth considering as our model shows that these too have the right combination of elements to deliver anearnings beat in the upcoming releases.
NIC Inc. EGOV has an Earnings ESP of +4.08% and a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Harris Corporation HRS has an Earnings ESP of +0.68% and a Zacks Rank #2.
Akamai Technologies, Inc. AKAM has an Earnings ESP of +0.61% and a Zacks Ranks #2.
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