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Vantiv 4Q profit surges, beats estimates

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Payments processor Vantiv said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net income surged 83 percent, helped by increased transactions at its merchant services and financial institution services segments.

The company's adjusted results topped analysts' estimates on Wednesday, and it provided a 2013 outlook above Wall Street's view.

The Cincinnati-based company earned $28.8 million, or 22 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. A year earlier it earned $15.7 million, or 18 cents per share. Excluding tax adjustments and other items, earnings were 38 cents per share.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted earnings of 34 cents per share.

Revenue rose 12 percent to $271.2 million from $242.7 million. Wall Street forecast $273.9 million in revenue.

Transactions increased 23 percent at the merchant services unit during the quarter, and climbed 7 percent at the financial institutions services division.

For the year, Vantiv Inc. earned $57.6 million, or 47 cents per share, up from $36.2 million, or 40 cents per share, in the previous year. Annual revenue improved to $1.02 billion from $865.7 million.

Vantiv anticipates 2013 adjusted earnings between $1.46 and $1.50 per share on revenue in a range of $1.21 billion to $1.23 billion.

Analysts expect earnings of $1.38 per share on revenue of $1.16 billion.

Its shares fell 6 cents to $21.70 on morning trading Wednesday. They have traded in a 52-week range of $18.49 to $24.43.