The Vanguard Group, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Block Inc. (NYSE:SQ). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Technology company by 3.77% to 32.76 million shares with purchase of 1.19 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 6.19% valued currently at $1.97 billion. In addition, BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its holdings by 76864.0 to 15.67 million shares. And Morgan Stanley Investment Managem has lifted its position by 28.86% or 3.32 million shares – to 14.82 million shares.
With over 9.7 million Block Inc. (SQ) shares trading Friday and a closing price of $65.82 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $638.71 million. The shares have shown a negative half year performance of -21.12% and its price on 11/18/22 lost nearly -3.19%. Currently, there are 592.67M common shares owned by the public and among those 531.01M shares have been available to trade.
An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 47 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for SQ have a consensus price objective of $88.13. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $150.00 and a low of $51.00. The average price target is 27.05% above its recent price level and a downside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -29.06% over that period. But an upside of 56.12% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while median target price for the stock is $85.00.
Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 185 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 83 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 2,582,462 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 102 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 1,342,895 shares.
The top 3 mutual fund holders in Block Inc. are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard Extended Market Index Fu, and American Funds Growth Fund of Ame. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 15.9 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $954.91 million. The company bought an additional 98831.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 3.00% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Extended Market Index Fu bought 0.13 million shares to see its total holdings expand to 7.26 million shares valued at over $435.97 million and representing 1.37% of the shares outstanding. American Funds Growth Fund of Ame bought 2.03 million shares to bring its total holdings to over 6.38 million shares at a value of $383.51 million. American Funds Growth Fund of Ame now owns shares totaling to 1.21% of the shares outstanding.
Shares of Block Inc. (NYSE: SQ) opened at $69.04, up $1.05 from a prior closing price of $67.99. However, the script later moved the day high at 69.32, down -3.19%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -8.15% and -9.85% over the past three months. SQ shares are trading -59.25% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -71.43% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $51.34 and touched a high of $237.82 over the same period. SQ has an average intraday trading volume of 14.56 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 5.82%, 8.34%, and -21.91% respectively.
Institutional ownership of Block Inc. (NYSE: SQ) shares accounts for 67.60% of the company’s 592.67M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 31.92%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 36.93% and 1.55% respectively.
It has a market capitalization of $40.66B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 2.37. The earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at -$0.93. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 5.21% over the week and 6.78% over the month.
Analysts forecast that Block Inc. (SQ) will achieve an EPS of $0.23 for the current quarter, $0.26 for the next quarter and $1.53 for 2023. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.11 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.42. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $0.37 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -25.00%, and 57.60% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 15.26% over the next five years, compared to 21.60% over the past 5-year period.
If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 47 brokerage firm advisors rate Block Inc. (SQ) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.10. Specifically, 29 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 11 of the 47 advise that investors “hold,” and 3 rated it as a “Sell.”
Looking at the support for the SQ, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Macquarie stated their Outperform rating for the stock in a research note on November 08, 2022, with the firm’s price target at $100. Mizuho coverage for the Block Inc. (SQ) stock in a research note released on September 22, 2022 offered a Neutral rating with a price target of $57. SMBC Nikko was of a view on September 21, 2022 that the stock is Neutral, while Evercore ISI gave the stock Underperform rating on September 14, 2022, issuing a price target of $120- $55. Macquarie on their part issued Neutral rating on July 19, 2022.