Shares of Square Inc (SQ 1.21%) jumped as much as 11.7% today after the payment company reported first-quarter earnings. As of 2:21 p.m. EDT, the stock had settled to an 8.5% gain.
Gross payment revenue increased 33% from a year ago to $13.6 billion, and net revenue jumped 22% to $462 million, beating consensus estimates. Square still lost $15 million in net income, but adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $27 million was the fourth straight quarter of positive EBITDA, and a good result in a seasonally weak period.
Adjusted loss of $0.04 per share beat analyst estimates by $0.04. Management increased full-year revenue guidance slightly, from $2.09 billion to $2.15 billion to a range of $2.12 billion to $2.16 billion.
Square's platform is starting to gather steam, and the financial benefits for investors are starting to show as well. And it's worth pointing out that the first quarter is typically a weak period, with sales picking up along with retail the rest of the year. As Square gathers more customers, it'll have an even more valuable platform, which is a reinforcing loop for the company. This quarter is one sign the payment specialist is on the right track to building a valuable platform for customers and investors.