Stock

Square Sales Surge on Pandemic-Fueled Boom for Cash App

(Bloomberg) — Square Inc.’s quarterly sales more than doubled, underscoring a surge in demand for Bitcoin trades, stock purchases and other financial transactions by customers cooped up during the global pandemic. The stock rose 5% in after-hours trading.

Revenue leaped 140% to $3.03 billion, far surpassing the $2.05 billion average analyst estimate, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The San Francisco-based payments company pointed to growth for its peer-to-peer payments app, Cash App, as one of the strong points of its business. The app, which lets users send money to friends, buy stocks and store money like a bank account, generated $2.07 billion in the quarter. Most of that revenue was from Bitcoin transactions, the company said.

Square plans to invest more aggressively in Cash App given its growth with consumers, said Chief Financial Officer Amrita Ahuja. “We did some new things in the third quarter related to paid marketing for Cash App that we want to lean into,” she said Thursday. The company is “scaling our [customer] support and other operations” around the app as more and more people use Cash App to make trades and do more than just send money to friends, Ahuja said.

Bitcoin transactions have also been a major boon for the company, generating $1.63 billion in revenue and $32 million in gross profit for the third quarter. That’s 11 times the revenue Square made with Bitcoin transactions in the period a year earlier, the company said in its shareholder letter.

Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey is a big believer in cryptocurrency, and Square bought $50 million worth of Bitcoin in October, calling the currency “an instrument of economic empowerment.”

Gross payment volume, a metric that tracks how much Square processes in total transactions, climbed 12% year-over-year after being down 15% in the second quarter.

(Updates with comments from CFO in the fourth paragraph.)

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