Shares of publicly traded payments companies lost some strength as 2017 drew to a close, but for the year as a whole they handily outperformed three widely watched market indexes during one of Wall Street’s best years in recent memory.
Twenty-nine electronic transaction processor stocks tracked by Chicago-based investment firm Barrington Research Associates Inc. registered a 38.96% mean return last year, beating the Nasdaq stock market’s 28.24% return, the Dow Jones Industrial Average at 25.09%, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index at 19.42%.
As a group, payments stocks registered positive returns every month in 2017, with 23 up and only six posting negative returns, a new Barrington report says. Leading the pack were Everi Holdings Inc., a payment-services provider to the gaming industry, up 247.47%; prepaid card provider Green Dot Corp., up 155.88%, and merchant processor Square Inc., up 154.37%.
At the bottom of the list were payment card manufacturer CPI Card Group Inc., whose stock fell 82.31%, and ATM network owner and operator Cardtronics plc, off 66.06%, according to the report.
In December, processor stocks posted a mean return of 0.80%, besting the Nasdaq at 0.43% but underperforming the Dow and S&P with returns of 1.85% and 0.98%, respectively. Fifteen processor stocks posted negative returns last month while only 12 gained.