VeriFone Systems Inc (PAY) Thursday said its fourth-quarter profit plunged from a year ago, despite an 18 percent revenue growth, as last year's bottom line benefited from an hefty one-time tax benefit. Nevertheless, excluding special items, the electronic payment technology company's profit increased and came in line with estimates.
However, shares of VeriFone slipped seven percent in extended hours, after the company reported a lower-than expected revenue, while detailing a weak outlook for the first quarter.
VeriFone shares were down $2.24 or 6.74% in after-hours trade. The stock ended regular trade at $33.23, down $0.16 or 0.48%, on the New York Stock Exchange.
VeriFone, which makes credit card payment terminals, said revenues for the quarter grew to $485.4 million from $410.7 million last year. Adjusted revenues were $488.6 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated revenues of $495.01 million for the quarter.
Gross margins for the quarter advanced significantly to 41 percent from 31 percent last year, while adjusted gross margins advanced to 44 percent from 40 percent.
San Jose, California-based Verifone's profit for the fourth quarter dropped to $27.0 million or $0.24 per share from $198.8 million or $1.84 per share last year.
The company's fourth quarter earnings last year was buoyed by an income tax benefit of $205.1 million.
Excluding one-time items, earnings for the quarter improved to $0.76 per share from $0.53 per share last year. On average, 15 analysts expected earnings of $0.76 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Looking forward to the first quarter, VeriFone expects adjusted earnings of $0.70 to $0.73 per share and adjusted revenues of $490 million to $500 million. Analysts currently expect earnings of $0.75 per share on revenue of $498.55 million for the quarter.
Meanwhile, VeriFone backed its full year guidance and continues to expect adjusted earnings of $3.25 to $3.30 per share and adjusted revenues of $2.05 billion to $2.10 billion . Analysts currently expect earnings of $3.28 per share on revenues of $2.09 billion for 2013.
by RTT Staff Writer
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