On Oct 14, 2014, Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. ( HPY ) scaled a 52-week high of $51.69 on the back of its business strengthening efforts over the last two months.
Notably, acquisitions were an important part of these business strengthening initiatives. Heartland completed two acquisitions in the last couple of months, the first one being Leaf, creator of a mobile Point of Sale (POS) tablet in Aug 2014 and the other TouchNet Information Systems, Inc., an integrated commerce solutions provider in Sep 2014. News of both these transactions drove bullish sentiment on the stock, as reflected in the immediate stock price rise over one trading session post the announcements. While the first acquisition enhances Heartland's portfolio by enabling it to help small businesses manage operations by using an open and flexible POS platform, the second deal adds more than 600 higher-education clients to Heartland's Campus Solutions.
Further, in the third week of September, Heartland had partnered with ToGoTechnologies to introduce a mobile and online ordering solution to restaurants of all sizes. This mobile and online ordering solution enables consumers to order online, which was earlier possible only with major restaurant brands. Heartland's app has resulted in an increase in throughput of incoming orders and improved sales as it reduces the manual process of taking orders and payments, thereby saving the time and money of restaurant operators. With this mobile and online ordering app, Heartland will experience more growth opportunities, which will result in good relationships with the small as well as large restaurant brands. This will not only enhance the company's business but also expand its products portfolio, thereby generating huge revenue growth.
Such positive tidings at the company keep us optimistic about the stock's performance. The full-year 2014 Zacks Consensus Estimate increased 0.5% to $2.13 over the last 60 days.
Heartland currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other stocks in the financial transaction services space that look attractive at current levels include MasterCard Incorporated ( MA ), Visa Inc. ( V ) and Global Payments Inc. ( GPN ). All three have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).