Profits Plunge At First Data

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DENVER - (04/15/05) -- Payments processing giant First DataCorp. said first quarter earnings plummeted 23% to $374.5 million,or 47 cents a share, from the first quarter last year, based oncosts associated with the integration of its Concord EFSacquisition. First Data took a $32.3 million, or 3 cents a share,restructuring charge, most of it related to Concord EFS, as well asa $25 million charge for adjustments in accounting for thecompany's Telecheck unit, in the first quarter. Still, the companysaid first quarter revenues climbed 10% to $2.5 billion. Merchantservices led the way with a 26% surge in first-quarter revenues,while growth in the company's payment services operation, whichincludes Western Union, slowed to just 7% for the period. Firstquarter results also include a $21.4 million gain on the sale ofsome of the company's stock in CheckFree Corp.

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