The deal created a transaction giant that competes with banks and tech firms in the financial sector’s fastest-growing business. Afterpay contributed $92 million to the first quarter’s gross profit, which was recorded under the Square and Cash app units. That helped Cash App – a service that lets individuals send payments including in bitcoin – post a 26% jump in gross profit.
After reporting a first-quarter operational profit that exceeded Wall Street estimates, Block Inc, the fintech business run by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, said on Thursday it had not witnessed a fall in general customer spending until April. Even though the business, formerly known as Square, posted a lower-than-expected adjusted earnings as demand for bitcoin fell due to a drop in cryptocurrency prices, Block’s shares surged 10% in extended trading. During the quarter, the firm, which provides merchant payment services and a cryptocurrency trading platform, completed its $29 billion acquisition of Australian buy-now-pay-later pioneer Afterpay Ltd.
“We expect Cash App and Square to sequentially grow gross profit each quarter throughout the year, even excluding Afterpay, assuming the macroeconomic environment remains stable,” Chief Financial Officer Amrita Ahuja said. “Through April, we have not yet seen a deterioration in overall consumer spending,” she said, adding that Afterpay’s gross merchandise value – the value of all goods sold – was expected to rise 15% in April.
Block posted operating earnings, known as adjusted EBITDA, of $195 million, ahead of the Wall Street average expectation of $136 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. In the three months ended March 31, revenue fell 22% to $3.96 billion. The company earned an adjusted profit of 18 cents per share, below analysts’ estimates of 21 cents.
The company’s bitcoin revenue halved to $1.73 billion, hit by a drop in interest from retail traders as prices of the cryptocurrency retreated after a sharp rally last year that was fueled by its rising acceptance in the mainstream.
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