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Why Is Fidelity National (FIS) Up 7.9% Since Last Earnings Report?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Fidelity National Information Services (FIS - Free Report) . Shares have added about 7.9% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Fidelity National due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Fidelity National Q4 Earnings Miss on High Interest Costs

Fidelity National reported fourth-quarter 2023 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 94 cents, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.1%. The bottom line declined 4% year over year.

Revenues dipped 1% year over year to $2.51 billion. The top line fell short of the consensus mark of $2.52 billion.

The quarterly results were hit by softer revenue contribution from the Banking Solutions segment and a significant rise in interest expenses. Its shares declined 2% in the pre-market trading session due to the weak quarterly results. Nevertheless, higher recurring revenues aided the performance of the Capital Market Solutions business. 

Q4 Performance

The cost of revenues was $1.5 billion in the quarter under review, which slipped 2.2% year over year. Selling, general and administrative expenses of Fidelity National tumbled 3.8% year over year to $539 million but were higher than our estimate of $504.4 million. Net interest expenses escalated 41.1% year over year to $158 million but was lower than our estimate of $166.4 million.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) inched up 1% year over year to $1.1 billion and beat our estimate of $1 billion. Adjusted EBITDA margin of 42.1% improved 70 basis points (bps) year over year in the fourth quarter.

Segmental Update

Revenues from the Banking Solutions unit remained flat year over year at $1.69 billion, lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.72 billion and our estimate of $1.73 billion. Improved adjusted recurring revenues, partly offset by decline in adjusted non-recurring revenues, shaped the segment’s quarterly performance. Adjusted EBITDA was $747 million in the quarter under review, which surpassed the consensus mark of $731 million and our estimate of $740.8 million. Adjusted EBITDA margin of 44.2% improved 270 bps year over year, attributable to cost efficiencies.

The Capital Market Solutions segment recorded revenues of $755 million, which grew 2% year over year in the fourth quarter and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $749 million and our estimate of $743.5 million. Adjusted EBITDA of $402 million outpaced the consensus mark of $399 million and our estimate of $401.4 million. Adjusted EBITDA margin deteriorated 250 bps year over year to 53.2% due to reduced contribution from higher margin non-recurring revenues.

The Corporate and Other segment’s revenues amounted to $63 million, which plunged 32% year over year in the quarter under review. The reported figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $52 million and our estimate of $48 million. The business suffered due to divestitures of non-strategic businesses. Adjusted EBITDA loss was $92 million in the quarter under review, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $62 million.

Financial Update (As of Dec 31, 2023)

Fidelity National exited the fourth quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $440 million, which decreased 3.5% from the 2022-end level. Total assets of $55.1 billion fell 12.9% from the figure at 2022 end.

Long-term debt, excluding current portion, amounted to $13 billion, down 8.7% from the figure as of Dec 31, 2022. The current portion of long-term debt totaled $1.3 billion while short-term borrowings totaled $4.8 billion.

Total equity of $19.1 billion dropped 29.9% from the 2022-end figure.

Fidelity National generated net cash from operations of $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter, which climbed 33.9% year over year. Free cash flows soared 63.9% year over year to $1.1 billion.

Share Repurchase & Dividend Update

Fidelity National rewarded $815 million to its shareholders to the tune of share buybacks worth $510 million and dividends of $305 million in the fourth quarter.

Capital Deployment Targets

Management aims to return a minimum of roughly $4 billion to its shareholders through share buybacks by the end of 2024, which includes $510 million repurchases conducted in the fourth quarter of 2023. Fidelity National reiterates its aim to achieve a dividend payout ratio of 35% of adjusted net earnings, excluding equity method investment earnings (loss).

Business Update

The agreement to divest a majority stake in the Worldpay Merchant Solutions business to private equity funds managed by GTCR was completed on Jan 31, 2024, as per the targeted timeline.

From the first quarter of 2024, the 45% ownership that Fidelity National holds in the Worldpay Merchant Solutions business will be reported in the income statement under "Equity method investment earnings (loss)".

Update on Enterprise Transformation Program

Fidelity National has achieved annualized run-rate Future Forward cash savings of more than $550 million as of Dec 31, 2023. The company reiterates its aim to achieve cash savings of $1 billion by 2024 end, out of which more than 75% belong to run-rate cash savings. It is also likely to benefit the company by bringing about a year-over-year increase of $280 million in adjusted EBITDA in 2024. 

1Q24 View

Management forecasts revenues between $2.430 billion and $2.455 billion. Adjusted EBITDA is projected to be $955-$970 million. Adjusted EPS is estimated between 94 cents and 97 cents. Adjusted EBITDA margin is projected to be 39.3-39.5%.

Revenues from the Banking Solutions unit are anticipated to witness year-over-year increase of 1-2%, while it is estimated to grow in the range of 6-7% for the Capital Market Solutions business.

2024 Guidance Unveiled

Revenues are expected to lie within $10.10-$10.15 billion, the mid-point of which indicates an improvement of 3.1% from the 2023 figure of $9.8 billion.

The Banking Solutions and Capital Market Solutions units are estimated to record year-over-year increases of 3-3.5% and 6.5-7%, respectively.  

Adjusted EBITDA is projected between $4.10 billion and $4.14 billion in 2024, the midpoint of which suggests 3.7% growth from the 2023 figure of $4 billion.  Adjusted EBITDA margin is anticipated within 40.6-40.8%.

Adjusted EPS is forecasted to lie between $4.66 and $4.76, the mid-point of which implies a 39.8% surge from the 2023 figure of $3.37.  

Net interest expenses are likely to stay within $345-$350 million for 2024.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed an upward trend in fresh estimates.

VGM Scores

Currently, Fidelity National has an average Growth Score of C, though it is lagging a bit on the Momentum Score front with a D. However, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the top 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, Fidelity National has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

Performance of an Industry Player

Fidelity National is part of the Zacks Financial Transaction Services industry. Over the past month, Envestnet (ENV - Free Report) , a stock from the same industry, has gained 10.4%. The company reported its results for the quarter ended December 2023 more than a month ago.

Envestnet reported revenues of $317.63 million in the last reported quarter, representing a year-over-year change of +8.5%. EPS of $0.65 for the same period compares with $0.45 a year ago.

Envestnet is expected to post earnings of $0.54 per share for the current quarter, representing a year-over-year change of +17.4%. Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate remained unchanged.

The overall direction and magnitude of estimate revisions translate into a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) for Envestnet. Also, the stock has a VGM Score of B.

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