Improved revenue growth in the Asia-Pacific region, Canada and the United States helped Global Payments Inc.'s results for its fiscal second quarter.
The results, released Jan. 6, also show the processor struggled to turn the 8.4% rise in its revenue, to $443.5 million, into a concurrent increase in its net income due to one-time charges related to layoffs in Canada. Global Payments said its profit fell 14.8% from a year earlier, to $53.5 million.
The quarter, which ended Nov. 30, was a tough one for the payment processor in Canada, Paul R. Garcia, its chairman and chief executive, told analysts.
"During September, we made a difficult decision to eliminate over 70 positions in Canada to match our investment levels to the near-term economic opportunity in that market," Garcia said.
Global Payments wants to bring in more revenue through independent sales organizations, said Jeffrey S. Sloan, its president.
"A core part of our strategy is to grow our share of the pie up in Canada," Sloan said. In addition to eliminating jobs, the Atlanta company is looking at ways to increase revenue in Canada.
"Gaining share with existing customers, adding new customers, including additional ISOs, is part of our strategy in the business," Sloan said.
U.S. ISOs are working with Global Payments to contribute to solid revenue growth in the region. Global Payments said its U.S. second-quarter revenue rose 11.2% year over year, to $245.7 million.
"The year-over-year growth continues to be fueled by strong ISO growth," David J. Koning, an analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. in Milwaukee, wrote in a report published Friday.
"ISOs are a great model," Garcia said. "ISOs are a great revenue generator."
ISOs are one way to grow revenues, but Global Payments is active in making joint venture deals. Its most recent is with the Spanish bank La Caixa, adding access to more than 150,000 merchants in Spain.
Garcia said he expects the venture with La Caixa to "grow significantly."
Koning said La Caixa processes about 20% of the acquiring transactions in Spain, making it the largest acquirer. The next three largest competitors combined have from 20% to 25% of the market, he said.
The joint venture should add $25 million to $30 million in annual revenue, wrote Daniel Perlin, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, in a research note Friday.
Garcia said he does not see the potential effects of U.S. debit interchange regulation, stemming from the Durbin amendment of the Dodd-Frank Act, as necessarily a negative for Global Payments. The proposal issued by the Federal Reserve Board caps debit interchange rates at 12 cents per transaction.
"I have said from day one interchange will do down, interchange is going to go down," Garcia said. "That is good for all of the acquirers."
Those acquirers not passing along the entire debit rate reduction will see a pickup in revenue, Garcia said.
"We're going to be very cautious, because it is not only a very competitive market, you don't want to invite any regulations of something," he said.
At least one Global Payments competitor is saying it will pass along the entire reduction, Garcia said.
Darrin Peller, an analyst at Barclays Capital in New York, said that Global Payments' "revenue came in better than expected," and that its growth in all regions, aside from Europe, was positive.