Square Q4 loss widens as transaction expenses offset revenue increase
Square Inc, a California-based mobile payment and financial service company, announced its earnings results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2015. The company reported a widened loss during the fourth quarter of 2015 as transaction expenses and other related costs burdened its balance sheet. Square is reporting its financial results for the first time since becoming a public company in November.
The company posted a net loss available to common shareholders of $80.5 million, up from a loss of $37.1 million in the previous year period. On a per share basis, Square's loss widened to $0.34 from $0.25 in the same period last year. Net loss for the fourth quarter increased to $48.3 million from $37.1 million in the prior year quarter.
Pre-tax loss widened to $47.04 million from $35.4 million in the year-ago period. Operating loss amounted to $47.8 million during the reporting period, compared to a loss of $34.56 million in the same period in 2014. However, net revenue increased to $374.4 million from $250.9 million in the prior year quarter. Revenues from transaction totalled $298.5 million in the fourth quarter, up from $206.33 million in the previous year period.
Adjusted revenue amounted to $135 million, up 64% from previous year. The company's fourth quarter gross payment volume increased 47% to $10.2 billion from the prior year period. Square had cash equivalents of $471 million at the end of 2015.
Looking ahead, the company expects first-quarter adjusted revenue to be in the range of $132 million - $137 million. For the year 2016, Square anticipated adjusted revenue between $600 million and $620 million.
According to MarketWatch, analysts polled by FactSet expected the company to report a loss per share of 14 cents on revenues of $322.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2015. The company's shares have dropped 4% over the previous three-month period, compared with a loss of 3% in S&P 500.
For the year ended December 31, 2015, Square reported a net loss available to common shareholders of $212 million, compared to a loss of $154.1 million in 2014. Loss per share widened to $1.24 from $1.08 in the previous year. The annual net loss increased to $179.8 million from a loss of $154.1 million in the prior year.
The pre-tax loss amounted to $176.1 million in 2015, up from $152.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2014. Operating loss widened to $174.46 million from $150.5 million in 2014. Net revenues for the year increased to $1.3 billion from $850.2 million in the previous year.
The shares of the company added 2.1% to $12.28 during the after-hours trading session on Wednesday. Square's earnings were hurt by transaction expenses that offset the increase in net revenues, as reported by THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
Annual adjusted revenue rose 64% to $452 million over the past year. Gross payment volume for the year 2015 amounted to $35.6 billion, up 50% from the previous year.
Square like many tech start-ups is struggling amid worst economic conditions but still remain hopeful to accomplish profit in the coming years. The company needs to implement cost reduction strategy to be profitable in the future.