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Eye on Earnings: FIS Faces an ‘Uncertain Environment’ While EVO Looks to a Merger With Global Payments

Digital Transactions

Two of the more significant merchant-processing operators reported quarterly results Thursday morning, with FIS Inc. indicating its merchant solutions unit recorded $1.18 billion in revenue in the period ended Sept. 30, up 4% year-over-year. Meanwhile, the large payments provider EVO Payments Inc. said its revenue for the same period totaled $138.7 million, a 3% rise from a year ago.

Along with most processors, both companies battled economic headwinds in the quarter generated mainly by such factors as an inflationary economy and what Gary Norcross, FIS chairman and chief executive, called an “uncertain macro-environment.” Global volume for FIS’s merchant unit totaled $544 billion, up 3%, while U.S. volume alone increased 5% to $412 billion. Transactions globally came to 12.2 billion, a 2% rise.

Overall, with the company’s banking solutions and capital-market solutions units included, revenue for the quarter came to $3.6 billion, a 3% increase.

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based company announced in October that Norcross will step down as chief executive Jan. 1 to be succeeded by Stephanie Ferris, currently president. Norcross will fill the role of executive chairman.

As for Atlanta-based EVO, the latest full quarter represented something of a slowdown for a company that has historically carried on a strong business in processing for clients in Europe as well as in the U.S. market. It has also long cultivated ties with independent software vendors to weave payments capability into business software for mutual clients. EVO reported revenue for the nine months through Sept. 30 increased 11%, to $403.3 million. “EVO’s solid third quarter performance reflects the strong growth from our international markets coupled with the expansion of our U.S. tech-enabled businesses,” said James Kelly, EVO’s chief executive, in a statement.

EVO also updated investors on its previously announced agreement to be acquired by processing giant Global Payments Inc., also based in Atlanta. The $4-billion deal was approved by EVO’s shareholders Oct. 26 and is now expected to close in the first quarter next year.