Green Dot's Q4 profit beats Street estimates

BANGALORE Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:27pm EST

BANGALORE (Reuters) - Prepaid debit card company Green Dot Corp (GDOT.N) reported a quarterly profit above market view on revenue growth in its card segment, and forecast full-year revenue largely above analysts' expectations.

For 2011, the company sees total operating revenue of $480-$500 million. Analysts expect $482.9 million.

Gross dollar volume is expected to grow 30 percent while the number of active cards is expected to rise 25 percent.

Green Dot reported gross dollar volume of $2.67 billion in the fourth quarter and had 3.4 million active cards at the end of the quarter.

Green Dot, in which Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) owns a minority stake, competes with NetSpend Holdings NTSP.O and sell their cards to low-income consumers who rely heavily on cash and do not have much access to credit.

Green Dot will outperform peers mainly due to its tie-up with Walmart, Gil Luria of Wedbush Securities said.

Last month, the company was chosen as program manager for a U.S. Treasury pilot program under which Americans will get their federal tax refunds via direct deposit to a prepaid debit card.

The company is trying to increase revenue and focus on existing customers rather than expanding its client base, David Parker of Lazard Capital Markets said.

For the fourth quarter adjusted earnings were 29 cents a share, while analysts were expecting a profit of 28 cents.

Shares of the company, which have gained 11 percent over the three months, closed at $58.31 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Brenton Cordeiro in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)