Diebold soars to 4-year high on strong 1Q, outlook

NORTH CANTON, Ohio - Diebold Inc.'s profit and revenue soared in the first quarter as the maker of bank teller machines, security systems and equipment cut costs and sold more ATMs to North American banks.

Diebold shares hit their highest level in more than four years after the company posted per-share earnings that were more than double what Wall Street expected and raised its outlook for the rest of the year.

Diebold reported net income rose to $45.2 million, or 71 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31, from $2.5 million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items such as restructuring charges, North Canton, Ohio-based Diebold said it earned 74 cents per share, easily beating Wall Street's expectations.

Analysts had expected adjusted earnings of 33 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

The company cut costs related to sales, research and services provided to customers.

Revenue rose 14 percent to $698.5 million from $614.2 million. Analysts expected on revenue of $648.6 million.

Revenue from Diebold's financial self-service division, which sells ATMs and other products and services, leapt 21 percent. Revenue from its smaller security division fell 6 percent. Revenue from the company's smallest group, which sells polling machines used in elections, plunged 66 percent.

Regionally, Diebold's strongest revenue gain was in North America. Overall revenue for Diebold's international operations fell 3 percent because of declines in Latin America, Europe the Middle East and Africa.

Based on its performance in the first quarter, Diebold said it expects revenue growth this year of 7 percent to 10 percent, compared with earlier guidance of 3 percent to 6 percent. The company expects much stronger growth in the financial self-service business. Revenue growth expectations for the security division were unchanged.

Diebold now expects earnings per share of $2.38 to $2.61, compared with earlier guidance of $2.18 to $2.41. It expects adjusted earnings per share to be $2.50 to $2.70, up from earlier guidance of $2.30 to $2.50.

The guidance was stronger than analysts' expectations. On average, they projected unadjusted earnings per share of $2.37 in 2012 and adjusted earnings per share of $2.44, according to FactSet.

Diebold said it is still cooperating with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission in a probe related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal for American companies to bribe foreign officials. Diebold discovered potential FCPA violations and voluntarily reported them to the SEC and DOJ in 2010, it said in its last annual report.

Diebold shares rose $2.47, or 6.4 percent, to $40.90 in afternoon trading after trading as high as $42.93 earlier in the session. That was their highest price during the trading day since Oct. 16, 2007, when they reached $43.49.

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