Global Payments Inc., which completed its spinoff from National Data Corp. and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Feb. 1, beat earnings estimates by 16% in the quarter that ended last month.
The card transaction processor said Wednesday that it had earned 22 cents in the quarter, the third of its fiscal year. Analysts consensus prediction had been 19 cents, according to First Call Corp., an American Banker affiliate.
On March 20, Global Payment bought Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerces merchant acquiring business. The deal gave the Toronto bank 26.25% ownership of the Atlanta company, which in turn became the largest Visa and debit card acquirer in Canada and one of the largest merchant payment processors in the United States.
Paul R. Garcia, the companys chief executive officer, said the acquired business will drive growth. There is a real opportunity for synergies if Global Payments integrates the Canadian Imperial business into its own, he said.
The company was formerly the e-commerce division of Atlanta-based National Data, a pioneer of electronic payment processing 32 years ago. Global Payments was formed as NDC eCommerce in 1996 with MasterCard International to offer payment services for merchants.
National Data, which began providing health-care information services in 1977, decided to spin off the company in December 1999.
National Data had two entirely different businesses, health information services and e-commerce, each of which were worthwhile on their own, said Christopher Schulz, an analyst at The Spin-Off Report, a research firm based in New York. Global Payments had the higher margin of the two because it specializes in a more mature business with a stable source of cash flow, he said.
Global Payments has a market capitalization of about $650 million, based on Fridays closing stock price of $18.20, which was up 5% from a week earlier.
Third-quarter revenue was $80.7 million and net income $5.8 million. In the same quarter last year it took in revenue of $79.6 million and churned out net income of $6.3 million.
Wayne Johnson, an electronic payments analyst with Robinson-Humphrey Co. in Atlanta, said growth in the core merchant processing business gave Global Payments a lift in the February quarter.
The growth for merchant processing transaction volume was in the midteens, a bit more than his firm had expected, he said. As a result, Global Payments beat the firms earnings projection by 4 cents.
The company is focused on direct merchant processing and the extent to which they can continue to grow their transaction volume is going to be the key, Mr. Johnson said. Thats where the most profitable portion of the industry really is.
The Canadian Imperial deal has now increased direct merchant processing to 75% of Global Payments sales, from about 65%, Mr. Johnson said. Other benefits, such as cross-selling opportunities, should bring higher revenues and earnings growth, he said.
It was a good quarter for the first stand-alone report as an independent company, Mr. Johnson said. If they are able to maintain the transaction processing growth on an internal basis, thats positive on its own for the company. The story gets even better with CIBC.