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Square's Impressive Second Quarter: What Investors Need to Know

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® – Aug 24, 2021 at 7:03AM

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Here's why this fintech is sharply higher since reporting its latest results.

Fintech giant Square (SQ -1.18%) was the center of attention in the financial world a couple weeks ago when it announced plans to acquire Afterpay. But it's important for investors not to forget that the company also reported some impressive results. In this Fool Live video clip, recorded on Aug. 5, Fool.com contributor Matt Frankel, CFP, breaks down the key figures investors need to know. 

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Matt Frankel: I don't know if you guys saw the report, but Square surprised everybody over the weekend by pre-announcing its earnings along with an announcement that it plans to acquire Afterpay. Square is making, which is the biggest acquisition in its history by far. I feel like Square's earnings release need to be broken up into two different baskets: the actual numbers and what it's doing going forward because this is a big acquisition, this a big deal. Square had a market cap lower than it's paying for Afterpay not that long ago.

First, the numbers. Square's numbers look pretty fantastic so far. Gross profit was up 91% year over year, and that was split pretty evenly between Cash App growth and seller ecosystem growth. Cash App gross profit was up 94%, seller was up 85%. Revenue looked really good even without the massive amount of Bitcoin revenue they generate; which I'll leave my opinions on Square's Bitcoin efforts to the side because it's not that long of a show. Square generated almost $2 billion of revenue. Square is now profitable, they reported their fourth consecutive quarter of profits, and I'm talking about real profits not adjusted or any of that stuff. Even when you include that some of it came from the sale of the rest of their DoorDash stake, remember DoorDash recently went public? Not that long ago, Square was an investor in that. They did a small write-down, well, a small for Square's standards, $45 million write-down from their Bitcoin investments. Bitcoin is not worth what it was at the end of the first quarter to put it quite frankly.

But even with all that, they managed to pull out a profit of over $200 million, $204 to be exact. They still trade at an astronomical multiple, but just the fact that Square is now what I would call consistently profitable is a pretty nice thing for investors know. Two sides to Square's business: There's the Cash App ecosystem, which is the personal side of the business, and the seller ecosystem, which is what merchants use to accept credit cards and borrow money and things like that. On the Cash App side, Square now has 40 million active users; 40 million monthly active users in its Cash App. That's up from 36 million at the end of the year.

I'm not sure which of my colleagues is discussing Pinterest today. Brian, is that you? Trevor, OK. Not to be a big spoiler, but Pinterest user growth was not great. Square grew its users this year, which as a somewhat stay-at-home stock, especially related to the Cash App side of the business, that was really nice for investors to see. Cash App is not only growing rapidly, but it's growing in profitability on a per-user basis. The average Cash App active user generated $55 in revenue for Square during the second quarter. That's 2.5 times as much as it did in the second quarter of 2020. That's the ultimate combination, growth plus expanding profitability. On the seller ecosystem, things look great.

We all know that Square's seller ecosystem is firing on all cylinders. Almost $39 billion of gross payment volume. While that may sound like an astronomical number, that's about one-tenth of what PayPal did. It's still not as massive of a business as you think, it might have a lot more growth potential than you are giving a credit for it. Finally, on the earnings side, I'll get to Afterpay in just a second. Square, they launched their banking service, Square Banking so now, their business customers can use savings accounts, checking accounts, business loans, things like that. Really successful quarter all the way around.

Matthew Frankel, CFP owns shares of Pinterest and Square. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Bitcoin, PayPal Holdings, Pinterest, and Square. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2022 $75 calls on PayPal Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Block Stock Quote
Block
SQ
$67.38 (-1.18%) $0.80
PayPal Stock Quote
PayPal
PYPL
$74.26 (-0.54%) $0.40
Pinterest Stock Quote
Pinterest
PINS
$24.69 (-0.68%) $0.17
DoorDash Stock Quote
DoorDash
DASH
$54.55 (-1.16%) $0.64
Bitcoin Stock Quote
Bitcoin
BTC
$17,226.00 (1.17%) $199.34

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