Why Global Payments Shares Jumped

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 Global Payments (NYSE: GPN  ) gained as much as 13% today after it delivered a strong earnings report last night and named a new CEO.

So what: The electronic-payment processor said it made a per-share adjusted profit of $1.00 against estimates of $0.95, while revenue improved 7% to $629.7 million, better than expectations of $624.1 million. The company also announced that President Jeffrey Sloan would become the company's CEO, effective immediately, replacing Paul Garcia, who had held the post since 1999. Garcia will remain as chairman. Finally, the stock got a boost from the credit card processor's decision to speed up its share buyback program as it plans to repurchase $100 million of stock this month. That move also led the company to boost its full-year earnings forecast by $0.05 to $3.98-$4.05, ahead of the analyst consensus at $3.97.

Now what: The market generally applauds share buybacks, and a move to immediately repurchase nearly 4% of shares seems destined to please investors. Still, Global Payments is a leader in an industry that figures to have long-term growth ahead of it, an excellent position to be in. While the company's current growth rate at 6%-7% isn't spectacular, the stock is affordably priced and those factors should be enough to deliver long-term returns for investors.  

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