The prepaid card issuer Green Dot (GDOT) on Thursday reported higher revenue but lower earnings in the fourth quarter.

The Pasadena, Calif., company said that its quarterly results reflected investment in several large scale growth initiatives, including efforts to distribute its prepaid cards in more retail stores.

Green Dot reported net income of $1 million, or 2 cents per share, versus $10.4 million and 24 cents a share a year earlier.

Operating revenues rose by 4% from the year-earlier quarter period to $142.3 million.

"Despite perhaps the most challenging year in our company's history, we're pleased to have delivered our twelfth straight year of revenue growth," Green Dot Chief Executive Steve Streit said in a news release.

Green Dot, a pioneer of the prepaid card industry, has been facing stiff competition from newer entrants, including American Express.

But Streit said that he remains upbeat about Green Dot's growth prospects for this year. He made particular note of the growing presence of Green Dot cards in check cashing stores and new product initiatives at Wal-Mart Stores.

For 2014, Green Dot projects that its total operating revenues will grow by 10%-12% over last year.

Gross dollar volume on Green Dot cards rose by 3% in the fourth quarter from the year-earlier period, as did the number of active cards at the end of the quarter. Purchase volume rose 2%.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.