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Why Square's Stock Plummeted in March

By Chris Neiger - Apr 6, 2020 at 11:52AM

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The payment processing platform company is hurting as small businesses suffer the effects of Covid-19.

What happened

Shares of payment processing company Square (SQ -2.54%) tumbled 37.1% in March, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, as small businesses around the country closed because of the coronavirus crisis. 

So what

Square has become a staple of the small business community by creating an easy-to-use payment processing platform, and it's estimated that more than 40% of the company's sales come from restaurants and retailers. With many of those businesses now closed, at least temporarily, Square's revenue will no doubt suffer in the coming months. 

A rising chart, with colorful bars and lines on a black background

Image source: Getty Images.

The company said in a press release last month that, "Starting in March, the effects of COVID-19 began to impact the company's growth, in particular due to a slowdown in gross processing volume (GPV) for its Seller ecosystem."

Square expects to report a net income loss per share for the first quarter of 2020 and withdrew its full-year guidance "given the uncertainty around COVID-19."

With the continued uncertainty surrounding when small businesses will reopen, investors are worried that Square's sales will continue to fall.

Now what

Square's share price slid another 8% since the beginning of April as more investors became concerned about the effects of the coronavirus crisis on restaurants and retailers. It's unclear how much further the company's stock could fall, and investors should expect continued volatility in the company's share price.

If there's one bright spot for Square, it's that the company's underlying business is still intact. Once small businesses begin reopening, the company's payment processing platform should benefit from the spike.

Chris Neiger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Square and recommends the following options: short September 2020 $70 puts on Square. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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