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Card Data Breach Slams Global Payments' Stock

Global Payments Inc.’s stock price fell more than 9 percent on Friday after it was revealed the company had fallen victim to a card data breach.

A blog operated by former Washington Post security writer Brian Krebs broke the story of the data breach early Friday, saying that the fraud “may involve more than 10 million compromised card numbers.” Investors appear to have identified Global Payments as the victim of the reported fraud around 11:00 a.m. EST; between 11:20 a.m. and 11:40 a.m., GPN’s value fell from $52 a share to $46, a 12 percent slide. The stock regained some of its value before trading on the company was halted at 11:52 a.m., finishing at a per share price of $47.50.

At roughly 4:30 p.m., Global Payments issued a statement, confirming that it had “determined card data may have been accessed” at some point in “early March 2012.” A conference call was also scheduled for Monday, April 2, at 8:00 a.m.

Despite the misfortune of one payment processor, not all was doom and gloom for payments stocks last week; Las Vegas-based Global Cash Access Holdings Inc. enjoyed a climb of more than 17 percent over five days of trading. The gains were largely driven by a vote of confidence from analysts at Sterne Agee, who increased their target price for shares of GCA stock from $8.20 to $11.50, citing GCA’s newly gained status as the first and only licensed “cash access and wagering instrument service provider” in Nevada.

“In essence, we believe GCA has the opportunity to become the 'PayPal’ of the Nevada hub for online poker,” Sterne Agee wrote.

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