Traders buy large volume of block put options (NYSE:SQ)

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Block, Inc. (NYSE: SQ – Get an assessment) was the recipient of unusually heavy options trading activity on Wednesday. Investors bought 160,223 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 31% from the average volume of 122,671 put options.

Block Stock Performance

NYSE SQ opened at $59.07 on Thursday. The company has a debt ratio of 0.24, a quick ratio of 1.80 and a current ratio of 1.80. The company has a 50-day moving average of $72.49 and a 200-day moving average of $86.44. Block has a 52-week low of $53.90 and a 52-week high of $270.16.

Block (NYSE: SQ – Get an assessment) last released its quarterly results on Thursday, August 4. The technology company reported ($0.19) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.20) by $0.01. Block had a negative return on equity of 2.52% and a negative net margin of 3.00%. The company posted revenue of $4.41 billion in the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $4.33 billion. During the same period a year earlier, the company posted EPS of $0.38. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 5.8% year over year. On average, research analysts expect Block to post -0.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A Wall Street analyst gives his opinion

Several equity research analysts have weighed in on the company recently. Stephens lowered his price target on Block from $130.00 to $110.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a Monday, August 8 research note. Canaccord Genuity Group lowered its price target on Block shares from $210.00 to $150.00 and placed a “buy” rating on the stock in a Tuesday, July 19 research note. Wolfe Research reduced its target price on Block shares from $90.00 to $85.00 in a Wednesday, July 20 research note. StockNews.com raised Block to a “sell” rating in a Friday, Aug. 5, report. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reduced their price target on Block from $150.00 to $100.00 in a Monday July 11 research note. Two research analysts rated the stock with a sell rating, seven gave the stock a hold rating and thirty-two gave the stock a buy rating. According to data from MarketBeat, Block currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $135.76.

Insider buying and selling

In related news, Insider Alyssa Henry sold 30,769 shares of the company in a trade dated Wednesday, September 21. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.82, for a total transaction of $1,871,370.58. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 428,058 shares of the company, valued at approximately $26,034,487.56. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available via the SEC website. In other bloc news, CFO Amrita Ahuja sold 4,029 shares of the company in a trade on Tuesday, July 5. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.63, for a total value of $252,336.27. Following the sale, the CFO now directly owns 155,649 shares of the company, valued at approximately $9,748,296.87. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, accessible via the SEC website. Also, insider Alyssa Henry sold 30,769 shares of the company in a trade dated Wednesday, September 21. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.82, for a total transaction of $1,871,370.58. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 428,058 shares of the company, valued at approximately $26,034,487.56. Disclosure of this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 330,040 shares of the company worth $23,769,365 during the last quarter. 11.52% of the shares are currently held by insiders of the company.

Hedge funds weigh on the block

Hedge funds have recently increased or reduced their holdings in the stock. Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new position in shares of Block in Q2 valued at approximately $157,768,000. 1832 Asset Management LP increased its position in Block by 6,085.0% during the first quarter. 1832 Asset Management LP now owns 1,805,100 shares of the technology company valued at $241,508,000 after buying an additional 1,775,915 shares in the last quarter. Sands Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Block by 7.7% during the second quarter. Sands Capital Management LLC now owns 16,450,950 shares of the technology company worth $1,011,075,000 after purchasing an additional 1,179,222 shares in the last quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. LP increased its holdings of Block shares by 12.4% in Q2. Loomis Sayles & Co. LP now owns 7,221,371 shares of the technology company valued at $443,826,000 after buying an additional 796,675 shares last quarter. Finally, Contour Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Block shares by 136.7% in the 2nd quarter. Contour Asset Management LLC now owns 1,267,755 shares of the technology company valued at $77,916,000 after purchasing an additional 732,246 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors hold 62.26% of the company’s shares.

Block company profile

(Get an assessment)

Square, Inc provides payment and point-of-sale solutions in the United States and internationally. The company’s commerce ecosystem includes point-of-sale software and hardware that enables sellers to turn mobile and computing devices into payment and point-of-sale solutions. It offers hardware products, including a Magstripe reader, which enables transactions by swiping magnetic stripe cards; Contactless and chip reader that accepts EMV® chip cards and Near Field Communication payments; Chip card reader, which accepts EMV® chip cards and enables swipe transactions of magnetic stripe cards; Square Stand, which allows an iPad to be used as a payment terminal or as a complete point-of-sale solution; and Square Register which combines its hardware, point-of-sale software and payment technology, as well as managed payment solutions.

Further reading

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