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Fiserv (FISV) Lags Q4 Earnings Estimates, Beats on Revenues

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Fiserv, Inc. FISV reported mixed fourth-quarter 2019 results, wherein the company’s earnings lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate but revenues surpassed the same.

Adjusted earnings per share of $1.13 missed the consensus mark by a penny but increased on a year-over-year basis. Revenues of $4.05 billion outpaced the consensus estimate by 2.1% and improved more than 100% year over year.

Adjusted revenues of $3.71 billion increased 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. Internal revenue growth was 5% on a constant-currency basis, with 6% growth in the First Data segment, 4% growth in the Payments segment and relatively consistent performance in the Financial segment.

Over the past year, shares of Fiserv have gained 46.4%, outperforming the 40.6% growth of the industry it belongs to and 18.1% increase of the Zacks S&P 500 composite. 


Let’s check out the numbers in detail.

Revenues in Detail

Revenues at the First Data segment increased 2.7% year over year to $2.46 billion, on the back of solid performance in the former GBS segment and strength across its digital commerce, ISV Solutions and global merchant acquiring. Adjusted revenues of $2.22 billion grew 4.5% year over year.

Revenues at the Payments and Industry Products segment increased 4.6% year over year to $987 million. Adjusted revenues of $902 million grew 5% year over year. The upside was driven by solid performance of card services, output solutions and some early network revenue synergy benefits.

In the reported quarter, debit transaction grew in high single digits and total P2P transactions, including Popmoney and Zelle solutions, doubled on a year-over-year basis and went up 18% sequentially. Mobiliti ASP subscribers increased 11% to more than 9 million. Zelle transactions tripled in 2019 with the number of live clients increasing 10 times from the year-ago quarter. The company signed 112 Zelle clients in the reported quarter.

Revenues at the Financial Institution Services segment decreased 0.9% year over year to $609 million.

Revenues at Total processing and services segment increased more than 100% year over year to $2.61 billion while product revenues grew more than 100% year over year to $520 million.

Operating Results

Adjusted operating income of $1.16 billion was up 7.2% from the year-ago quarter. Adjusted operating margin of 29.8% grew 100 basis points (bps) year over year, driven by a combination of continued revenue growth, lapping of prior year's tax reinvestment, and the early benefits from synergies, partially offset by the expected lower periodic revenues compared with the fourth quarter of 2018.

Adjusted operating income at the First Data segment was $708 million, up 6.3% year over year. Adjusted operating margin improved 50 bps year over year to 30.7%, driven mainly by strong revenue growth.

Adjusted operating income at the Payments and Industry Products segment was $353 million, up 12.1% year over year. Adjusted operating margin improved 250 bps year over year to 39.2%. The improvement can be attributed to growth in high quality revenues, the reduction of last year's tax funded investments and the benefits from productivity and early synergy performance.

Operating income at the Financial Institution Services segment totaled $207 million, down 0.5% year over year and operating margin of 34.1% improved 40 bps. The upside was driven by high-quality recurring revenue growth and operational efficiency, which had offset the impact of lower periodic revenues.

Fiserv, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


Fiserv, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Fiserv, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Fiserv, Inc. Quote

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow

Fiserv exited fourth-quarter 2019 with cash and cash equivalents of $893 million compared with $1.03 billion at the end of the prior quarter. Long-term debt at the end of the reported quarter was $21.61 billion compared with $22.12 billion at the end of the prior quarter.

The company generated $1.18 billion of net cash from operating activities in the reported quarter. Free cash flow was $984 million. Capital expenditures were $290 million. Fiserv repurchased 2.2 million shares for $238 million in the reported quarter.

2020 Guidance

Fiserv unveiled its guidance for full-year 2020. Adjusted earnings per share are expected in the range of $4.86 to $5.02 (indicating 23-27% year-over-year growth) over the adjusted earnings per share for 2019 as revised for the net impact of divestitures including the Investment Services transaction announced in December. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.96 lies within the guided range.

The company expects internal revenue growth of 6-8%. Adjusted operating margin is anticipated to expand by at least 250 bps and free cash flow conversion is estimated above 112%.

Zacks Rank & Upcoming Releases

Currently, Fiserv carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Investors interested in the broader Zacks Business Services sector are awaiting fourth-quarter 2019 earnings of key players like S&P Global (SPGI - Free Report) , Genpact G and FLEETCOR Technologies FLT, each scheduled to release results on Feb 6.

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