- Q2 earnings show solid growth with little signs of slowing down.
- A sizable Australian acquisition will help scale.
- Bitcoin trades helping drive traffic and usage.
- Cash app still strong as small business returns.
- Shares are going much higher.
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We love financial tech stocks, and near the top of the list is Square (NYSE:SQ) which we have traded several times. That said, whilst being a great trading stock, the easiest move is to buy and hold over the next five years. The company is a fintech disruptor, and it is growing like wildfire. The company just reported some stellar earnings, and is showing no signs of slowing down. What is more, an expensive, but well-timed acquisition will help the company scale. While valuing the company on traditional metrics is near impossible, we implore our followers to think very long-term here and believe the company will grow into its stretched valuation. We rate shares a strong buy the closer they are to $200.
Q2 earnings were solid
Keep in mind ever since the company allowed access to cryptocurrency (bitcoin), revenues have taken off. In the just announced quarter, net revenue was $4.68 billion up an incredible 143% year-over-year. Excluding bitcoin (BTC-USD) transactions, total net revenue in the second quarter was $1.96 billion, up 87% year over year. While this is still massive growth, you can see how much the bitcoin assets mean to the company. On the whole, gross profit was $1.14 billion up 91% year-over-year. Solid.
Transaction revenue surges, but watch GPV gross profit
Revenue from transactions was $1.23 billion rising 80% year-over-year, while gross profit was $543 million, up 85%. The Street may be disappointed with the fact that volumes were less than expected, despite surging from a year ago. Square processed $42.8 billion in GPV up 88% year-over-year. Transaction-based gross profit as a percentage of GPV was 1.27% down 2 basis points year over year and down 5 basis points quarter over quarter. That was a weakness that the Street might also jump at. You have to remember, with the stretched valuation of this high growth fintech stock, the slightest negative can irritate the shareholder base and trigger selling. We would welcome the selling and encourage a buy.
That said, subscription and services-based revenue nearly doubled as well to 685 million while gross profit was $561 million, up 90% year-over-year. Keep in mind the acquisition of TIDAL was a big boost in the quarter, but the organic growth was solid as well.
Cash App and Bitcoin
The biggest driver of overall growth was the amazing Cash App. Cash App generated $3.33 billion of revenue while delivering $546 million of gross profit. This is huge growth. Revenue rose 177%, while gross profit nearly doubled. Again, bitcoin was a large part of this. If we back out bitcoin, Cash App revenue was $606 million, up 87% year-over-year.
Keep in mind the prices of bitcoin were falling for most of Q2. It was volatile. Volatility helps with trading revenue, but expect even more positive profit power if bitcoin prices start to rebound. Which, they are, in the last week or so. We think that the cryptocurrency access is huge for the company. Just how big is bitcoin for Square? HUGE. Cash App brought in $2.72 billion of bitcoin revenue and $55 million of bitcoin gross profit in Q2. This was up three-fold from last year. It is major.
The company itself is taking money in putting it straight into owning bitcoin. According to the release:
In the fourth quarter of 2020 and first quarter of 2021, we invested $50 million and $170 million, respectively, in bitcoin. As an indefinite-lived intangible asset, bitcoin is subject to impairment losses if the fair value of bitcoin decreases below the carrying value during the assessed period. In the second quarter, we recognized a bitcoin impairment loss of $45 million on our bitcoin investment. As of June 30, 2021, the fair value of our investment in bitcoin was $281 million based on observable market prices, which is $127 million greater than the carrying value of the investment.
As you can see, there is serious cash on the line here. As such, expect the stock to continue to trade with a slight correlation with the price of bitcoin. However, the bulk of the business is still transaction based, and we have not even touched on small business
Small business is coming back
One of the biggest customers and drivers of revenue for Square are small businesses. They are coming back now that the COVID crisis is improving and the world is reopening. Small businesses as part of the broader seller ecosystem was responsible for $1.31 billion of revenue and $585 million of gross profit, both up over 80% from a year ago. Once again, solid growth.
Earnings are positive, though could be stronger if operational expenses are controlled but we aren't complaining
We are not going to complain about a fintech that is in supreme revenue growth mode that is earnings positive. And the company is earnings positive. While a FWD p/e ratio is laughable over 100, or more, we want you looking at the degree of growth. Net income was $204 million. They did have a gain of $77 million by selling their DoorDash investment. Net income was $173 million when excluding that and the aforementioned loss related to the impairment of its bitcoin investment. Operational expenses are high however. Operating expenses were $1.02 billion up 64% from a year ago. Make no mistake, they are commensurate with the huge rise is sales, but the more controlled these expenses are, the better earnings will be.
Nice to see EPS growing
Overall, net income per share was $0.45 on a basic level. If we back out the DoorDash sale and the impairment on bitcoin basic EPS was $0.39, while adjusted EBITDA was $360 million surging from the $98 million a year ago. Overall adjusted EPS was $0.66 a huge $0.48 increase from a year ago. And things are only going to get better.
A new acquisition, pricey but interesting
In conjunction with this weekend's earnings release, Square agreed to buy Australia's Afterpay (OTCPK:AFTPF) for $29 billion (all in stock by the way) to add buy now, pay later abilities. While Afterpay shareholders can take some of it in cash, on the whole, Square is paying roughly $125 per share for Afterpay in Australian dollars, or a 30% premium. That is pricey. The deal will not close until 2022, so the actual fiscal terms may differ at that point. Afterpay shareholders will own approximately nearly 20% of the newly combined company on a fully diluted basis. It is a massive transaction. But Afterpay has had its own immense growth and has surged in popularity. We believe this deal and the capabilities it will bring to Square's users is accretive, and the company will reap the benefits immediately in 2022. For more on Afterpay, we recommend this column here.
Make no mistake, Q2 earnings were incredibly strong. The inclusion of bitcoin trading has been a massive benefit to the company as transactional revenue has surged. Small business is coming back and that has led to a big rebound in seller-based transactional fees. This supreme growth fintech is also earnings positive. The acquisition of Afterpay is a huge move to get into the buy now, pay later business which is growing in popularity, specifically among millennials a primary user of Square services. While traditional valuation metrics are not at play here, we urge our members to consider the fact that the company is growing like wildfire. The closer shares get to $200 the more bullish we are. However, shares are a buy at present levels for the long-term.
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Quad 7 Capital is a team of 9 analysts with a wide range of experience sharing investment opportunities for nearly 12 years. They are best known for the February 2020 call to sell everything & go short, & have been on average 95% long 5% short since May 2020. The broader company has expertise in business, policy, economics, mathematics, game theory, & the sciences. They share both long & short trades & invest personally in equities they discuss within their investing group Bad Beat Investing, focused on short- & medium-term investments, income generation, special-situations, & momentum trades. Rather than just give you trades, they focus on teaching investors to become proficient traders through their playbook.
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Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have no stock, option or similar derivative position in any of the companies mentioned, but may initiate a beneficial Short position through short-selling of the stock, or purchase of put options or similar derivatives in SQ over the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
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