Square (NYSE:SQ) has had mixed results throughout the pandemic that are representative of its varied business. The company’s fourth-quarter earnings continued the trend, and investors were happy enough to keep bidding up its stock. But after the stock’s recent surge, should they be confident about Square’s growth opportunities?
What does Square do?
Square is a fintech (financial technology) company that operates two payment-related ecosystems. Its classic sellers business, which comprises business solutions such as its famous square card reader, has seen slowed growth during the pandemic from its strong storefront presence. Revenue increased 5% and gross profit increased 13%.
The company invested in omnichannel capabilities to reach more clients and offer greater options for storefronts, and omnichannel gross payment volume increased by a third, accounting for half of the total. Square sees mid-size businesses as a huge addressable market, and this category demonstrated high potential for profitability, with gross profit growing at double the rate of other categories.
Its Cash App ecosystem was a huge success as people began to rely more heavily on digital payments while under lockdown. But it was Bitcoin (CRYPTO:BTC) that made the biggest splash on Square’s business. Revenue for the company increased 141% in Q4, but without Bitcoin, is was only up 23%.
In the fourth quarter, Cash App active customers increased 50% over 2019 to 36 million, and Square only spent $5 per customer in acquisition cost. There are 80 million customers who have transacted at least once with the Cash App system, and Square is focusing on creating greater value for customers to keep them loyal. Its results so far indicate that new transacting customers adopt other Cash App features like Cash Card and Bitcoin trading in greater numbers. It’s also a key to greater profitability, as gross profit per customer increased 70% over the prior year in the fourth quarter.