Square shares lifted by sunnier full-year guidance

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Shares of US mobile-payments company Square rose in after-hours trading after solid quarterly results prompted it to lift its full-year sales and profit forecast.

The company, which was started and is still led by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, on Wednesday raised its full-year total net revenue guidance from its previous forecast of $2.09bn-$2.15bn to $2.12bn-$2.16bn.

It is also targeting adjusted earnings per diluted share of 16-20 cents, versus previous expectations of 15-19 cents for the year.

Square said the move was prompted by “strong results for the first quarter”, which saw it narrow its loss more than analysts’ had expected during the three-month period ending March 31 and posting better-than-expected adjusted sales.

The company said its loss per diluted share was 4 cents, versus the 8 cents analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected, on an overall net loss of $15m, versus the $29.6m hit analysts had predicted. It’s also an improvement over the $97m loss, translating to 29 cents per share, it posted in the same period a year earlier.

Total revenue came in at $462m, up 22 per cent from a year earlier. Adjusted revenue for the quarter — stripping out transaction based revenue from Starbucks, which transitioned off of Square’s infrastructure during the previous quarter, as well as transaction-based costs — was $204m, compared to the $192.8m Wall Street was looking for.

The company’s shares, which have risen nearly 36 per cent over the past 12 months, were up more than 5 per cent in after-hours trading.

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