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Why First Data Is Ready to Roll

By Olga Kharif

FASTER GROWTH. Plus, NYCE could fetch First Data a nice sum -- perhaps as much as $650 million, estimates the Nilson Report's Robertson. He figures the network would be a valuable addition for such First Data rivals as credit-card associations MasterCard International and Visa or payments processor Fiserv (FISV ). First Data could use the proceeds for more acquisitions -- which have contributed about one-sixth of its 14% annual growth rate over the years, estimates John Kraft, an analyst with brokerage D.A. Davidson in Lake Oswego, Ore.

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