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MoneyGram 4Q earnings rise on more transfers

NEW YORK (AP) -- MoneyGram International Inc., a money transfer company, said its fourth quarter net income jumped as its fee revenue rose.

The Dallas-based company reported net income of $20.2 million, or 28 cents a share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, up from $3.1 million, or 4 cents a share, a year ago. The year-ago results had been depressed by debt reduction costs.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $354.4 million from $321.8 million as its money transfer transaction volumes rose by 14 percent, bolstered by an increase in transfers from the U.S. to Mexico.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of 27 cents per share on revenue of $345.9 million.

The company in November set up a $100 million compensation fund as part of a settlement of government accusations of fraud through money-transfer scams from 2003 to 2009. MoneyGram says it has terminated relationships with the agents suspected of masterminding the fraud.

The company had previously set aside money to take care of those claims.

For the year, MoneyGram lost $49.3 million, or 69 cents per share, versus a loss of $438.8 million, or $9.03 per share, a year earlier. Annual revenue rose 7 percent to $1.34 billion from $1.25 billion a year earlier.

Its shares slipped 3 cents to $14.09 in morning trading. They have traded in a 52-week range of $11 to $18.98.