Electronic payments processor Total Systems Services (TSYS) is to cut its workforce by 237 employees in a cost-cutting and efficiency drive.
In announcing the cuts, TSYS reiterated its guidance of 5-7% earnings growth for 2004, significantly down on the 18% growth forecasts from analysts. The company has cited pricing pressure and portfolio sales by multiple clients for the downbeat assessment.
The move comes as rival processor First Data reported a reported a 14% increase in fourth-quarter earnings thanks to strong growth in its Western Union money transfer business.
First Data net income grew to $401.6 million, or 55 cents per share, from $352.5 million, or 46 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $2.24 billion from $2.02 billion in the fourth quarter of 2002.
Charlie Fote, First Data's chairman, said in a statement that cash outlays for restructuring and integration of Concord could take ten cents off EPS for 2004, within a target range of $2.00 to $2.18. Forte is forecasting revenue growth in excess of 20% for 2004.