Los Angeles Business Journal

Green Dot Shares Soar on Improved Outlook

By Deborah Crowe Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Shares of Green Dot Corp. jumped nearly 16 percent on Wednesday, a day after the prepaid debit card provider reported a better-than-expected earnings and raised its full-year guidance.

After the markets closed on Tuesday, the Monrovia company reported net income of $11.3 million (25 cents a share), 4 percent higher than in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 4 percent to more than $142 million.

Adjusted profit was 33 cents a share, which was nearly 6 percent lower than a year earlier but still beat the Wall Street consensus of 29 cents.

Green Dot said the past quarter was negatively affected by tougher competition and greater restrictions on the use of its prepaid cards. Even so, the company expects its adjusted full-year earnings to be between $1.05 and $1.20 a share on operating revenue of $565 million to $575 million, both better than analysts have been anticipating.

“Despite aggressive competition from large financial services companies and rigid self-imposed risk controls that materially reduced new customer enrollment, we believe Green Dot remains the clear leader in the prepaid space and is well positioned for the future," Chief Executive Steve Streit said in a statement.

Green Dot announced several new distribution partners, including Home Depot, Dollar General and Save-a-Lot, which will add about 20,000 retail locations nationwide. It also announced an initiative to enter the check-cashing space.

Analyst Mark Palmer at BTIG Research noted that the company’s strong usage metrics also were a reason for optimism. While the number of active cards fell 1 percent to $4.39 million, gross dollar value was up 12 percent, purchase volume per active card rose 12 percent and cash transfers per card increased by 13 percent, indicators that customers were using their cards more actively.

“We believe such metrics reflect the ‘stickiness’ of customers, who are the real drivers of its performance,” Palmer said in a note to clients.

Shares on Wednesday closed up $3.17, or 16 percent, to $23.28 on the New York Stock Exchange.