Shopify has been on a monster run as of late, but Square ($SQ) started 2020 on a roll - and analysts are buying in. The San Francisco-based payment platform will announce earnings on February 26; analysts tracked by Zacks Investment Research are looking for EPS $0.02. 

To start 2020, a stampede of Wall Street analysts piled in with bullish recommendations on Square stock - and so far, it seems as if they were right. What's more, Square data is reflecting strength in a way even Shopify ($SHOP) metrics can't quite match. 

Square's year-over-year job postings growth is an impressive 41%, and closing in on highs for our full recorded history covering the company - but Shopify job postings have dipped 18% over the same timeframe. 

Part of what's fueling analysts' optimism on Square isn't just growth in alternative data - it's growth in the data where it matters most. Even with the sale of its meal delivery platform, Caviar, to Doordash, Square is expected to generate about 46% more revenue year-over-year. So more growth could be on the way.

Furthermore, Square's digital offerings continue to engage consumers - and this could be one of the biggest parts of its long-term viability. In the Apple ($AAPL) Store, Square's app has earned 258% more ratings from users year-over-year.

Further, Square is getting better reviews from users - closing in on a 4.0-out-of-5. While that's not an elite rating, it does signify Square is doing better at earnings user approval. Finally, if the 200,000+ Apple Store ratings weren't enough to convince investors to take Square seriously, there are about 120,000 more ratings submitted to cover the app in the Google Play Store, too (not shown).

And while Shopify's Arrive app is wildly popular with users - about as popular as its stock is with investors right now - Square is earning more reviews. It's also earned a share price increase of 21% on markets this year - and next, with a beat, analysts and investors will get more of what they've been looking for this year. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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