Square Climbs on Third-Quarter Earnings Beat

Cash App, Square's mobile payment service, sees strong growth in the quarter.
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Square  (SQ) - Get Report was climbing in after-hours trading Thursday after the electronic payment system operator beat Wall Street's. third-quarter earnings expectations.

Shares of the San Francisco-based company were up 6.46% to $186.95 after the market close.

Square reported net income of $37 million, or 8 cents a share. Adjusted income came to 34 cents a share.

Revenue totaled $3.03 billion, up 140% year over year, the company said, as more users of Cash App, Square's mobile payment service, bought and sold digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

A survey of analysts by FactSet for Square produced consensus estimates of GAAP earnings of a loss of 8 cents a share, or adjusted earnings of 16 cents a share, on revenue of $2.04 billion.

Subscription and services-based revenue was $448 million, up 60% year over year, beating estimates of $398.5 million, and subscription and services-based gross profit was $381 million, up 76% year over year.

Gross payment volume from merchant customers rose 9% to 31.7 billion. 

Square said that last month "we invested $50 million in bitcoin as we believe cryptocurrencies are an instrument of economic empowerment and aligns with the company’s purpose."

"We expect to hold this investment for the long term," the company said. "The accounting rules for bitcoin will require us to recognize any decreases in market price below cost as an impairment charge, with no upward revisions when the market price increases until a sale." 

In October, Seller delivered positive revenue and gross profit growth year over year. Seller GPV was up 8% year over year, which improved modestly compared to year-over-year results in the third quarter.

"We believe our Cash App and Seller ecosystems are well-positioned to help our customers adapt to the impact of COVID-19, based on trends we observed during the third quarter," the company said. "We intend to prioritize investments in our Cash App and Seller ecosystems that we believe will help drive attractive long-term returns."