Square (SQ 0.13%) has been one of the best-performing stocks in the market in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic provided some nice tailwinds for its business -- particularly the Cash App. But what will happen as things gradually get back to normal in the postpandemic world?
In this Nov. 16 Fool Live clip, Fool.com contributor Matt Frankel, CFP, and Industry Focus host Jason Moser discuss where Square could be headed over the next year and beyond.
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Jason Moser: Patient Investor asks, "Hi, guys, what's your take on Square going forward?" Like it. Next question. Just kidding.
Matt Frankel: I was going to say the same thing.
Jason Moser: Just kidding, Patient Investor. "What is your take on Square going forward? Do you see a possible acceleration in the stock going into 2021?" That's a very good question. The 2021 part, I'd be interested to get your take on this, Matt.
Matt Frankel: I actually see the opposite, if we're just talking about the short-term going into 2021. They're not a reopening stock. The pandemic was a big tailwind for Square. Their Cash App active users doubled over the past year, and most of that was during the pandemic. The online store has some strong momentum within their merchant space, and that's a pandemic tailwind. Once there's a vaccine widely available, the question is, will that momentum slow down? How many of those tens of millions of Cash App users they've added are going to be sticky? I guess you'd say, how many are going to stay with the platform after the pandemic? That's a big question mark. I think, initially, you're going to see a wait-and-see attitude among investors, but I think long-term, I like it. But going into 2021, it's not a get-rich-quick stock right now.
Jason Moser: Yeah. I agree with what you're saying there. I think the other thing to keep in mind too, and this is something we saw in the most recent quarter, just something that's worth keeping an eye on is that management did note they're going to be investing a little bit more in the business in 2021. They said upwards of 40% of revenue, they're going to be investing back into the business to build-out offerings and just make it a bigger business to pursue their long-term goals. I'm sorry, not 40% of revenue, I think they said they're going to see a boost 40% in operating expenses. Anytime you see that, that is something that could potentially play out on profitability depending on how the top-line grows. If they see, like we were talking about before, a little bit of leveling off on the top line there because we're maybe getting a little bit back to some semblance of normalcy, if that top line doesn't grow quite as quickly in 2021, and you couple that with more spending, it's reasonable to assume that market may look at that as a short-term headwind. You could see some selling in the stock. I don't know, but it's something to keep in mind. If the stock did underperform because of that, I would view that as an opportunity because I think you and I both agree it's still a very important business in the financial services landscape, and I don't think that's changing anytime soon.