(By Mani) Global Payments Inc.
) provided an interim update on the progress of data breach investigation and remediation, confirming that only Track 2 data and less than 1.5 million cards were compromised.
This suggests that no cardholder names, addresses, and social security numbers were stolen.
Incrementally, the company announced the possibility that some merchants' personal confidential information may have been compromised, which would be manageable.
Though the company could not quantify any charges, it believes that the total breach-related expenses will be manageable, mostly one-time in nature, and a potentially significant portion of the expenses will be covered with insurance.
Global Payments, a provider of electronic transaction processing services for credit and debit cards, first announced on March 30 that it had identified and self-reported unauthorized access to its processing systems.
The company's ongoing probe revealed potential unauthorized access to servers containing personal information collected from a subset of merchant applicants for underwriting purposes. Although the intruders had access to the system, it is unclear whether they looked at or took any personal information from the company's systems.
However, the company still plans to offer $1 million in identity protection insurance and credit monitoring services to cardholders to mitigate the intrusion. Since these were mostly small merchants, the risk of merchant attrition from the breach is manageable.
Comparatively, the breach is much smaller in scope than Heartland Payment System's (NYSE:HPY) data breach of about 134 million accounts in January 2009, which cost about $150 million in total breach-related expenses including about $42 million to fund future settlements.
"We believe the expense should be much smaller in light of the breach's relatively smaller size," Deutsche Bank analyst Bryan Keane wrote in a note to clients.
Global Payments plans to provide additional information regarding the potential financial impact, the PCI compliance process and the status of the investigation at the latest by its fourth quarter 2012 earnings call scheduled for July 26, 2012.
Meanwhile, the company recently reiterated its outlook for fiscal 2012 revenues and cash EPS, implying that the company fundamentals remain strong despite shares of the company dropping 20 percent since March 20 when the company first announced the data breach.
Atlanta, Georgia-based, Global Payments sees revenue for fiscal 2012 to be $2.15 billion to $2.20 billion, or 16 percent to 18 percent growth over fiscal 2011. Cash earnings are expected in the range of $3.50 to $3.58 a share, reflecting 14 percent to 16 percent growth from last year. Wall Street currently expects earnings of $3.52 a share on revenue of $2.19 billion, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.