What happened

Green Dot (NYSE:GDOT), a leader in prepaid cards and other consumer financial services, reported strong first-quarter results. As of 10:45 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Green Dot's stock price was up by nearly 15%.

The company reported revenue of $315 million for the quarter, 25% more than a year ago and handily surpassing expectations of $297 million. Earnings of $1.29 per share met estimates, achieving impressive 72% year-over-year income growth.

Man and woman looking at a tablet, man holding a payment card.

Image source: Getty Images.

Green Dot's purchase volume soared 36% from a year ago, and direct deposit volume was especially strong. The company also processed 150,000 more tax refunds than in the first quarter of last year, and had nearly 1 million more active accounts than it did at the end of the first quarter of 2017. The company also referred to its new TurboTax-branded prepaid card as a "material contributor" to the company's strong revenue growth.

So what

Perhaps most significantly, Green Dot increased its guidance for the rest of 2018. The company now expects revenue in the range of $1.002 billion to $1.012 billion and EPS in the range of $2.93 to $3. These are up by 1.8% and 4.2% at their midpoints, respectively, from the company's previous guidance ranges.

In simple English, Green Dot not only expects more revenue, but it expects this revenue to generate significantly more profit. And since stocks essentially trade on their future earnings potential, the increased guidance is a primary reason Green Dot is shooting higher today.

Now what

This quarter shows that Green Dot's plans are coming to fruition, and the company has now beaten its own expectations for several quarters in a row. With several new product lines showing promising growth, Green Dot's growth story could still be in the early chapters.

Matthew Frankel has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.