First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC) reported a 67% jump in earnings for the first quarter of 2019 helped by improved operating performance and reduced interest expense. The top line exceeded analysts’ expectations while the bottom line came in line with consensus estimates. The company reiterated its 2019 guidance.
Net income soared by 67% to $169 million and earnings climbed by 64% to $0.17 per share. Adjusted earnings rose by 6% to $0.31 per share. The increase of adjusted earnings was driven primarily by improved operating results, partially offset by unfavorable foreign currency movements and a higher adjusted tax rate.
Consolidated revenue inched up by 1% to $2.32 billion. This reflected solid segment revenue growth, partially offset by the impact of recent divestitures in Global Financial Solutions and by unfavorable year-over-year foreign currency movements. Total segment revenue was $2.12 billion, up 2% from last year on a reported basis or up 8% on an organic constant currency basis.
For the first quarter, revenue from Global Business Solutions increased by 5% driven by strong growth in North America’s Partner Solutions channel. Revenue from Network & Security Solutions remained flat from last year, as modest growth with the EFT business was offset by modest declines in the Stored Value and Security and Fraud businesses. However, revenue from Global Financial Solutions decreased by 8% due to a decline in North America and EMEA geographic regions.
Looking ahead into 2019, the company reiterated its guidance, which does not include any impact related to the previously announced merger with Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV). The company still expects total segment revenue growth in the range of 5% to 6% on an organic constant currency basis and adjusted earnings in the range of $1.55 to $1.58 per share.
Total segment EBITDA outlook is still predicted to be in the range of 6% to 8% on an organic constant currency basis. Free cash flow is still anticipated to be about $1.5 billion-plus for the full year 2019.
The company expects negative impacts to reported segment revenue and EBITDA from divestitures and adverse foreign currency movements to be more pronounced in the first half of 2019.
Following the earnings release, shares of First Data opened higher on Tuesday and is trading in the green territory. The stock has risen over 69% in the past year and over 53% in the year so far.
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