First Data Reports Promising Growth in 2018 Fourth Quarter
New data has been released that reveals very promising growth for merchant-processing revenues from North America in the last quarter of 2018. According to First Data, revenues grew 7 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter to $1.1 billion on a comparable accounting basis.
Set to be acquired by processor Fiserv Inc. in a $22 billion all-stock deal, First Data reported that total quarterly revenues were $1.42 billion. After adjusting for a new accounting standard, this is up 6 percent. All of this data was reported in its Global Business Solutions (GBS) segment (the biggest of the company’s three segments).
For GBS, which provides merchant processing services, North American generated 77 percent of its revenues. Meanwhile, Partner Solutions, the GBS unit that includes independent software vendors and related businesses, also enjoyed “strong growth”, according to Atlanta-based First Data in a press release. However, the press release went on to say that joint merchant-processing ventures with banks experienced “a modest decline”.
With the pending Fiserv buyout, First Data said it would not have a conference call with stock analysts after releasing its earnings report. It was also noted that the fourth-quarter report failed to disclose the same level of information the company usually provides. There were also details the company did not delve into at all.
For example, revenues in the GBS unit fell 8 percent from 2017’s fourth quarter under the new accounting standard to $375 million. In addition, its North American revenues declined 6 percent to $226 million. No explanation was given.
Even so, First Data said that its financial results were true to preliminary figures and 2019 guidance it released Jan. 16. “We finished the year with a strong fourth quarter across our global business lines,” First Data chairman and chief executive Frank Bisignano said in the release.
“We enter 2019 with excellent momentum across our important growth initiatives and with confidence that our recently announced merger with Fiserv will position the combined company well to serve its clients through an expanded set of solutions, drive further innovation, and ultimately create significant value for shareholders.”
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Author Bio:Payment industry expert Taylor Cole is a passionate merchant account expert who understands the complicated world of accepting credit and debit cards at your business. His understanding of the industry and retail merchant services complaints has helped thousands of business owners save money and time.