Heartland Payment Systems Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of bank card payment processing services company Heartland Payment Systems (NYS: HPY) rallied as much as 11% today following the release of its fourth-quarter earnings results.

So what: For once you don't have to dig too deep to realize why the stock is popping so much. Heartland crushed estimates across the board. The company reported a profit of $0.35 on a 13% rise in revenue to $125.1 million. The consensus Wall Street estimate was for a profit of $0.24 with $121.9 million in revenue. Heartland also provided fiscal 2012 EPS guidance of $1.52 to $1.56, way ahead of the current consensus figure of $1.32. To cap off the trifecta, Heartland announced an increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.06 from $0.04.

Now what: There is no way this report can be construed as anything but fantastic. Credit card processing volume rose and operating expenses fell. I'm still not a huge fan of its dividend -- even after the hike the yield is still less than 1% -- but I don't see why Heartland couldn't head higher with every aspect of its business firing on all cylinders.

Craving more input? Start by adding Heartland Payment Systems to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong. The Motley Fool owns shares of Heartland Payment Systems. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Heartland Payment Systems. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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