First Data Tumbles Most Since IPO After Reporting Quarterly Loss

First Data Corp. fell the most since going public in October after posting a fourth-quarter loss and revenue that missed analysts’ estimates.

The payments processor tumbled as much as 21 percent and was down 8.2 percent to $10.20 at 11:13 a.m. in New York, the fifth-worst performance in the Russell 1000 Index. The shares have plunged 36 percent since an Oct. 14 initial public offering.

The net loss of $1.22 billion compares with a profit of $12 million a year earlier, the New York-based company said late Tuesday in a statement. Total revenue climbed 2.8 percent to $2.96 billion from a year earlier, missing analysts’ estimates, while expenses rose 16 percent to $2.87 billion. The company booked a $960 million charge in the quarter for the extinguishment of debt.

“Our initial reaction to First Data’s results is that they, on balance, skewed negatively, due to weaker-than-expected revenues,” Lisa Ellis, a Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst, said in a note. “We expect a somewhat negative reaction.”

Still, analysts at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey said the sell off was “massively overdone,” and raised the stock to its top pick.

“We have high conviction that this company is not in financial distress,” SunTrust said in a note. “Today’s action seems out of scale.”

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