Affirm vs. Block: Which Beaten-Down Fintech Stock Is a Better Buy?

In the past few months, the sell-off in growth stocks has accelerated amid a volatile and extremely tricky macro environment.  Several factors have negatively impacted investor sentiment, that include rising inflation rates, the possibility of…

multiple interest rate hikes, a new and contagious COVID-19 variant, and what many investors believe to be an overvalued equity market.

However, the fintech market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 26.87% over the next four years, which currently makes beaten-down stocks, such as Affirm (AFRM – Get Rating) and Block (SQ – Get Rating), potentially interesting long term investments.  AFRM and SQ are currently trading down 73% and 57%, respectively, in the past three months.

Today I’ll analyze and compare both fintech stocks to determine which is currently the better buy.

The bull case for Affirm

Shares of Affirm have been in a freefall since November 2021. AFRM stock has in fact declined by almost 50% since February 9 this year. In Q2 of fiscal 2022 that ended in December, Affirm reported sales of $361 million and adjusted losses of $0.57 per share. Its revenue was up 57% year over year while losses stood at $0.38 per share Q2 of fiscal 2021. Comparatively, Wall Street forecast Affirm to report revenue of $328.8 million and a loss of $0.34 per share in the quarter which drove the stock lower.

However, merchants on Affirm rose 64% on a sequential basis to 168,000 as the company confirmed it processed 1.6% of total online purchases on Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year. It ended Q2 with an active user base of 11.2 million, up 150% year over year. Affirm’s gross merchandise volume or the value of transactions on its platform increased by 152% to $4.4 billion in Q2 as it partnered extensively with giants such as Amazon and Shopify.

Affirm sales are forecast to grow by 51% to $1.32 billion in fiscal 2022 and by 44.7% to $1.91 billion in 2023. Its adjusted losses per share might narrow from $2.72 in 2021 to $1.84 in 2023.


The bull case for Block

Formerly known as Square, Block is valued at a market cap of $56 billion. Despite the recent pullback, it has returned 661% to investors since its IPO in November 2015. Block successfully displaced legacy point of sales (POS) solutions as it allowed small and medium businesses to conduct transactions on most mobile devices. Its seller ecosystem expanded at an accelerated pace as the company expanded its product portfolio to include payroll and data analysis tools.

Its peer-to-peer payment application called the Cash App unlocked massive opportunities for Block. Here, users can use a debit card, trade equities, and cryptocurrencies as well as manage taxes.

Earlier this year, Block completed the acquisition of Afterpay, an Australian-based buy now pay later company in an all-stock transaction valued at $29 billion. The acquisition should serve…


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