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First Data is still a buy, this portfolio manager says

First Data
First Data
Cameron Hurst

First Data’s (First Data Stock Quote, Chart, News: NYSE:FDC) stock in on fire ever since its earnings beat a couple of weeks ago, which is all good since the fintech company checks all the right boxes, says Cameron Hurst, chief investment officer at Equium Capital Management.

On April 30, payment processing company First Data reported its first quarter financials, boasting total segment revenues of $2,080 million, an 11 per cent jump year over year on a reported basis and beating the consensus estimate by $176 million (all figures in US dollars unless noted). The company’s total segment EBITDA was up 12 per cent reported at $730 million, with an adjusted diluted EPS of $0.29, also up six per cent.

The response to those glowing numbers was immediate, with FDC jumping in trading, now up 28 per cent over the week and a half since.

“We had an excellent start to 2018,” said Chairman and CEO Frank Bisignano. “We continued to execute against key initiatives across our business, delivering strong financial performance and positioning us to raise our guidance for the year. We further expanded Clover’s market presence, our cutting-edge ISV business continued to rapidly gain share, our international businesses again delivered strong growth, and our backlog of new enterprise deals continued to expand and ramp.”

Hurst says that First Data is now putting out a fundamentally solid story. “They just play silently in that financial technology space, essentially, the more taps that are used, the more cards that are used, the more mobiles being done within a store. They’re the wires between all these component pieces of the financial environment. From that perspective, they’re doing very well,” he said to BNN Bloomberg.

Globally, the volume of transactions processed annually by Clover, the company’s customer payments platform, now amounts to $58 billion annually. This week, First Data announced an investment in a $12 million Series A funding round for Salido, a restaurant software company.

“[First Data] had a bit of a pullback, a consolidation, so from that perspective, you’ve grown into your multiple, and now they come out with a positive earnings revision cycle, and that happens, but the space that they’re in, their performance within that space, all of these things line up very positively,” says Hurst.

“We love fintech and they should be making 52-week highs now. It checks that momentum box, fundamentally we like it. You’re putting out double-digit earnings growth at a reasonable one-ish peg multiple, you’re good,” he says.

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About The Author /

Jayson is a writer, researcher and educator with a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Ottawa. His interests range from bioethics and innovations in the health sciences to governance, social justice and the history of ideas.
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