UPDATE 1-Alliance Data 1st-qtr beats market expectations

Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:21am EDT

* Q1 core EPS $2.38 vs est $2.19

* Q1 rev up 20 pct

* Sees Q2 core EPS $1.85 vs est $1.99

April 19 (Reuters) - Alliance Data Systems Corp posted a quarterly profit that beat analysts' expectations, helped by strong sales at the company's Epsilon segment, which provides online marketing services.

The company, which provides private-label credit card services to retailers, forecast second-quarter core earnings of $1.85 per share. It expects revenue to grow by 13 percent for the period.

Analysts, on average, were expecting second-quarter core earnings of $1.99 per share, on revenue of $831.0 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Dallas-based company reported net income of $115.2 million, or $1.86 per share, compared with $86.4 million, or $1.56 per share last year.

Core earnings for the quarter came in at $2.38 per share.

Revenue rose 20 percent to $891.6 million.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of $2.19 per share on revenue of $833.61 million.

The company's Epsilon unit saw revenue grow by 46 percent to $227.9 million.

Alliance Data shares closed at $127.34 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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