(PAY) VeriFone Holdings Wins Sberbank Order

VeriFone Holdings Inc. (PAY) announced that the company received a multimillion-dollar order for its payment solutions by Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank.

Sberbank, which ultimately intends to distribute approximately 130,000 payment solutions among merchants, has selected VeriFone as its leading vendor. The bank will utilize VeriFone’s countertop and wireless payment solutions, as well as PIN pads.

Meanwhile, VeriFone is expected to report first quarter 2010 results on March 2, 2010. Management expects revenues between $215 million and $218 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2010. Earnings per share are projected around 22 cents – 23 cents.

The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the first quarter of 2010 is 18 cents per share compared to management’s projection of 22 – 23 cents. For the full year of fiscal 2010, VeriFone expects net revenues to be between $900 million and $915 million. Earnings per share are estimated between 97 cents and $1.07.

Over the past 30 days, 1 of the 6 analysts covering the stock has raised their estimates for fiscal 2010. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2010 is 86 cents per share.

Fourth quarter results beat management’s expectations as the company saw a recovery in all international markets and some signs of improvement in the domestic marketplace. Management believes that the growth in American markets should become challenging again once the stimulus is exhausted. Margins also showed improvement.

While earnings came in line with estimates in the fourth quarter of 2009, the company delivered a positive surprise of 53.85% in the third quarter. On average, VeriFone has come ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 31.47% in the last four quarters.

We believe that although there are signs of the economy bottoming out, recovery is going to slacken and revenue growth will be challenging. The prospect for margin recovery may be attributed to increasing inventory write-downs in the recent quarters, which in turn may lead to higher gross margins in the coming quarters.

Our long-term recommendation for VeriFone is Neutral, which means the stock will perform in line with the broader market. Our Neutral recommendation is supported by the Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).

Based in San Jose, California, VeriFone Holdings Inc. provides solutions for electronic payment systems for the financial, retail, hospitality, petroleum, transportation, government and health care vertical markets.

Zacks Investment Research

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