ATM manufacturer NCR Corp. reported Thursday that its ATM revenues declined 21% in the fourth quarter, but point-of-sale hardware revenues grew 23%.
Total revenues at Atlanta-based NCR came in at $1.78 billion, down 1% from $1.8 billion in 2016’s fourth quarter and off 3% on a constant-currency basis. The company reported a loss of $56 million against net income of $45 million a year earlier. Best known for its ATMs and other financial and retail hardware, NCR now generates more than 60% of its revenues from software and services. Services revenues grew 4% to $619 million, while software revenues edged up 1% to $508 million.
But hardware revenues, which totaled $655 million, took a beating, off 7% as reported from $702 million in 2016’s fourth quarter and down 9% on a constant-currency basis. The company attributed the 21% drop in ATM revenues, from $385 million a year earlier to $303 million in the fourth quarter, to a lower backlog of orders at the start of the quarter, and said revenues actually came in better than expected.
“We really had tough [comparisons] when we looked at 2016 Q4 because we really did have an incredible Q4 2016,” Mark Benjamin, NCR’s president and chief operating officer, said on a Thursday afternoon conference call with analysts, according to a SeekingAlpha transcript.
For the year, ATM revenues came in at $1.01 billion, down 17% from $1.22 billion in 2016 and off 18% on a constant-currency basis. In 2018, the company expects ATM revenues to be flat, but that will be “a huge improvement” over 2017, chief financial officer Bob Fishman said on the call.
Longer-term growth in ATM revenues could come from new business from JPMorgan Chase and Co., which has announced plans to add as many as 400 branches as it moves into new markets. That’s in marked contrast to the branch trimming that most big banks are doing nowadays as consumers increasingly use online and mobile-banking services. NCR did not announce any new deals with Chase, but Benjamin noted that the bank has “been a long-time partner of NCR’s,” according to the transcript.
Other new revenues could come from upgrades of ATM operating systems to Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 10. Microsoft is sunsetting support for Windows 7, widely used in ATMs, in 2020.
“When we look at the opportunity from an upgrade perspective, there’s roughly 300,000 ATMs that we service that are less than five years old that have the possibility of driving upgrade revenue from Windows 10,” Fishman said, according to SeekingAlpha. That could produce up to $300 million in revenues over three years, he said.
The bright spot in NCR’s hardware sector was point-of-sale equipment, which saw revenues increase 23% in the fourth quarter to $218 million. NCR attributed the growth to new customer wins and more sales of its products for fuel pumps to convenience stores and gas stations. For all of 2017, POS hardware revenue was up 20% (19% on a constant-currency basis) to $806 million.