Muted Gains, Losses For Payments Stocks

Stocks in general continued to power ahead, touching new highs for the week that just ended. The payments stocks were a bit more muted during the week. In fact, gaining issues only slightly outpaced decliners. It could be that the lingering impact of earnings are fading a bit.

Among the stocks that showed the most impressive upswings, MoneyGram gathered 3.7 percent, as a shortened week and general positive momentum lifted shares. The next two biggest gainers, Alliance Data and Square, each gathered 2.8 percent, with ADS stating earlier in the month that its net receivables were up 22 percent year over year for the month of October. The run rate of receivables and chargeoff rates has had the company hewing to its guidance for sales and for net income for the year. Square continues to show improving operating margins, as evidenced by its latest quarter, and investors might be sanguine about the fact that the operational improvements have come amid a rocky time for the stock, setting the stage for gains.

Among the stocks that lost ground, Planet Payment shed 4.2 percent, with the announcement that the firm had extended its contract with Mashreq, based in the UAE, for payments processing services. Visa slipped a bit, too, with 1.8 percent lost after the firm said it had yielded on its debit routing stance.