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Shares in Square were up 5 per cent in after hours trading to $15.85 after the San Francisco-based payments company beat expectations on earnings and revenue, while issuing a better-than-forecast outlook for the first quarter.

Square reported non-gaap earnings per share of 5 cents in the quarter, above the average analyst estimate for zero cents. The company shrunk its net loss to $15m from $48m for the same quarter the year before.

The company, led by co-founder Jack Dorsey, who also heads up Twitter, said it made net revenue of $452m, up 21 per cent year-on-year, slightly above the consensus forecast for $449m. Gross payment volume, the money processed by the platform, was $13.7bn, up 34 per cent year-on-year.

Sarah Friar, Square’s chief financial officer, said the company is focusing on three areas: providing more services to larger retailers, moving offline transactions online and international growth. So far Square operates in Canada, Japan and Australia.

“The most important point is our hardware is globally applicable now so we expect to put more pedal to the metal driving international growth in 2017,” she said.

Square issued guidance for the first quarter of 2017, saying it expects total net revneue of between $440m to $452m and a net loss per share of 9 to 7 cents. The first quarter is traditionally its slowest and it plans to continue to invest in the business.

For the full year, Square said it expects total net revenue of $2.09bn to $2.15bn, up 30 per cent year-on-year, and net loss of 24 to 20 cents per share.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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