Heartland Payment Systems Beats Up on Analysts Yet Again

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Heartland Payment Systems (NYS: HPY) reported earnings on Feb. 9. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Heartland Payment Systems beat expectations on revenues and earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew and GAAP earnings per share increased significantly.

Margins improved across the board.

Revenue details
Heartland Payment Systems reported revenue of $125.1 million. The 12 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ hoped for sales of $121.9 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 1.4% lower than the prior-year quarter's $478.2 million.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.28. The 14 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $0.24 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.28 for Q4 were 65% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.17 per share.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 13.4%, 390 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 4.3%, 130 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 2.4%, 100 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $123.9 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.25.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $525.4 million. The average EPS estimate is $1.30.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 377 members out of 398 rating the stock outperform, and 21 members rating it underperform. Among 170 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 168 give Heartland Payment Systems a green thumbs-up, and two give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Heartland Payment Systems is outperform, with an average price target of $24.10.

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At the time this article was published Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor ofMotley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. 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 may not 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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