Payment Methods

For Payments Stocks, Some Small Gains, Bigger Decliners

Not much movement on the winners this week, but some relatively outsized swings on the declining side of the payments stock index made for some decidedly lopsided performance among the names we track.

That’s not to say that there were not any notable winners in the week. That crown went to Square, which enjoyed a small single-digit percent move on the news that Steven A. Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management vehicle took a six-million-share stake in the firm, which translates into an ownership stake worth more than five percent.  Cohen’s firm said it had no activist intentions with Square.

Alliance Data Systems lost more than seven percent on the week, thanks to a Credit Suisse  analyst note that suggested the company be viewed as a lender rather than a technology firm.  As a result, the analyst downgraded the stock to underperform from neutral and cut the price target from $233 to $190. The fact remains, said the analyst, that the bulk of earnings comes from the card business, limited by capital requirements at two bank subsidiaries, which may mean that earnings power at ADS, as a firm, may be limited as well.

Planet Payment slipped four percent on week, though admittedly on a $180 million market cap company, any swings in price have an outsized effect on percentage movements. In this case, with little news having come through since the firm reported earnings earlier this month, it is possible investors are still reacting to the fact that Planet Payment missed estimates.

ACI Worldwide was off three percent on the week. Headlines surrounding the company were limited to the integration of Ethoca Alerts into the firm’s eCommerce gateway.


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