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Block Reports Surprise Profit As Bitcoin Bet Pays Off

The stock of digital payments firm Block (SQ) is up 16% after it reported a surprise quarterly profit due largely to a $207 million U.S. gain in its holdings of Bitcoin (BTC).

The company formerly known as “Square” reported earnings per share of $0.45 U.S., which was above Wall Street forecasts that had called for a loss of $0.57 U.S.

Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2023 totaled $5.77 billion U.S. versus $5.70 billion U.S. that was expected among analysts.

The surprise profit comes as Block reported a gain of $207 million U.S. on its Bitcoin holdings.

As of Dec. 31, 2023, Block held 8,038 Bitcoin valued at $340 million U.S.

The company also said that it made $66 million U.S. in profit on Bitcoin sales last quarter through its Cash App, a banking platform, which was a 90% increase from a year earlier.

Block chief executive officer Jack Dorsey is a big proponent of cryptocurrencies. The company changed its name to Block to reflect its increasing focus on crypto and its underlying blockchain.

Block also reported that it had 56 million monthly active users for its Cash App at the end of last year, with most of those customers using it for peer-to-peer payments.

The company’s Cash App business reported $1.18 billion U.S. in profit for Q4 2023, a 25% year-over-year increase.

Prior to today (Feb. 23), Block’s stock had declined 8% over the last 12 months to trade at $67.96 U.S. per share.