shares are down 1.2% in premarket trading Wednesday after Buckingham Research analyst Chris Brendler lowered his rating on the stock to neutral from buy. “While we still see a compelling top line and margin expansion near term, SQ isn’t perfect and we think investors are ignoring some of the longer term fundamental concerns including merchant acquiring competition and the sustainability of Instant Deposit pricing,” he wrote. “As a result, we are taking a break and hope to get a more compelling re-entry point soon.” Brendler noted that Square shares hit a new high on Tuesday, but also on Tuesday, First Data Corp.
discussed its rival Clover offering during an investor day. First Data’s commentary “suggests competition is catching up,” Brendler wrote. He raised his price target on Square’s stock to $65 from $55. The stock closed Tuesday near $63 and is up 169% over the past year, while the S&P 500
has gained 14%.