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Heartland Expands in Louisiana

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In a bid to consolidate its operations in Louisiana, Heartland Payment Systems acquired Madisonville-based MCS Software for an undisclosed amount.

MCS Software provides innovative school foodservice point-of-sale (POS), back office and online payment solutions for over 4000 K-12 schools across the nation.

Heartland’s sturdy financial position including a strong cash balance supports its acquisition activities. As of 2013-end, Heartland had cash and cash equivalents of $71.9 million, escalating 48.5% from the 2012-end level. Also, retained earnings of the company surged to nearly $36 million from $7.6 million reported at the end of 2012.

The acquisition will add an outstanding software product to the existing platform of Heartland and also provide the acquirer with a new substantial customer base across the country. This will help boost the inorganic growth profile of the company. The combined operation of Heartland and MCS Software is expected to improve and expand the school payments solutions that are offered to children and parents in the current MCS school districts.

Moreover, the acquisition makes way for further expansion in the growing POS technology and K-12 school nutrition industry for Heartland, subsequently, driving the company toward a market leading position. Heartland School Solutions of Heartland now provides their service to 34000 K-12 schools across the nation, which represents 35% of the public schools across the U.S.

Previously, in Sep 2013, Heartland purchased 66.7% of the outstanding capital stock of Leaf Holdings, Inc. for a cash consideration of $14.5 million. Leaf Holdings assists several vertical-specific business applications at Heartland with their cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS), Point-of-Sale (POS) system. In 2012 and 2013, Heartland has made four acquisitions for a total cash transaction of $122.3 million.

Zacks Rank

Heartland presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some top-ranked stocks worth mentioning in the financial transaction services industry include Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. (FIS - Free Report) , Alliance Data Systems Corp. (ADS - Free Report) and Fiserv, Inc. (FISV - Free Report) . While Fidelity National sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Alliance Data and Fiserv hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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