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Green Dot's 4Q Loss Balloons on Rising Expenses

Green Dot reported a larger fourth-quarter loss on higher employee compensation costs and said it will book an extra $11 million in expenses to roll out a new card product.

The fourth-quarter net loss was $5.9 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with a loss of $785,000, or 2 cents a share, a year earlier, Green Dot said Wednesday.

Operating revenue at the Pasadena, Calif., company rose 0.2% to $150.9 million. An increase in card revenue and other fees was offset by a decline in processing and settlement service revenue.

Total operating expenses rose 8.2% to $162.7 million. Salaries and employee benefits rose 30% to $44.9 million. Processing expenses rose 19% to $23.9 million.

Green Dot expects to record about $11 million in additional expense this year to roll out new prepaid cards to retailers, to replace and destroy old prepaid cards and to package the new cards. It unveiled a prepaid card product in Walmart stores last year and expects the rest of its retail customers to introduce the new cards by the end of April.

Additionally, Green Dot is replacing its processing software with a new system it said will save money.

One of Green Dot's largest shareholders has called for the ouster of Chief Executive Steve Streit, saying he has made strategic mistakes and delivered weak financial results.




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