Magazine article American Banker

First Data Net Is Up 22% on Card-Processing Gains

Magazine article American Banker

First Data Net Is Up 22% on Card-Processing Gains

Article excerpt

HACKENSACK, N.J. - Growth in credit-card processing spurred First Data Corp. to a 22% earnings increase for 1993, to $173 million, the company reported last week.

The result, equal to $1.56 a share, was consistent with the expectations of analysts. They had predicted earnings would continue to grow about 20% a year as credit and debit cards begin to displace cash and checks.

"First Data has to be one of the best plays on that trend," said James F. Kissane, of Salomon Brothers, who has a "buy" rating on the stock.

Continued Growth Cited

For the fourth quarter, net income was $52.9 million, up 22% from $43.4 million a year earlier.

Analysts said the firm's results underscored continued strength in the U.S. bank credit-card market, for which First Data's subsidiary, First Data Resources of Omaha, Neb., is the largest independent account processor.

"FDC is a pretty good proxy for business because it processes a quarter or more" of all Master-Card and Visa transactions in the U. …

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