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May 9, 2018 | Fiserv Inc. | FISV

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This week’s Stock of the Week is a company that consumers interact with frequently, even if they don’t know it.

Processing Payments

Fiserv Inc. (FISV) offers financial-services technology worldwide. That includes electronic bill payments, mobile banking software and services, account-to-account transfers, person-to-person payments, credit card and debit card processing—plus investment-account processing, fraud and risk management, and more. Its own paying customers are mostly banks and other financial companies, but many of its products and services underlie interactions that consumers have with these companies.

The payment-processing industry is growing rapidly, and Fiserv benefits. Its primary headwind would be an overall slowdown in consumer spending that would affect all types of payment transactions. That seems highly unlikely in the short term. Fiserv is a strong defensive choice for stock portfolios. Revenue was $5.7 billion last year. It should grow to $5.87 billion this year and $6.14 billion next year.

Fiscal year: December. Earnings per share: 2019 est./$3.52…2018 est./$3.12…2017/$2.56.

Randy Hare is director of equity research, Huntington Private Bank, Columbus, Ohio, which has $17 billion under management. Huntington.com

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