August 8, 2012

Higher One’s 2Q mixed; $100M share buyback set

New Haven college-campus payments vendor Higher One Holdings Inc. lifted second-quarter sales but profits failed to follow suit.

Higher One also announced board authorization for a $100 million share repurchase for the company that just went public barely two years ago.

For three months ended June 30, Higher One netted $4.1 million, or 7 cents share, down from $4.7 million, or 9 cents a share, netted the same period a year ago.

Second-quarter sales rose 11 percent to $38.9 million from $35.1 million last year. Summer is typically Higher One's slow season, with fewer students who are its main customers circulating on college campuses.

Officials credited sales growth to more of its customer OneAccounts and an increase in the number of higher education institutions that have contracted for its services.

Higher One, which went public in June 2012, does not pay a dividend. Shrinking the number of shares circulating on the open market is meant to boost the value of stockholders' remaining shares.

The expanded stock repurchase "is a great way to return capital to shareholders,'' CEO Mark Volchek said.

Indeed, Higher One said it tapped $5.9 million of its cash in the second quarter to repurchase approximately 400,000 shares.

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