VeriFone Systems News

BusinessYour guide to the most important business stories of the day, every day. You will now receive the Business newsletter PoliticsThe latest political news, analysis, charts, and dispatches from Washington. You will now receive the Politics newsletter MarketsThe most important market news of the day. So you can sleep an extra five minutes. You will now receive the Markets newsletter PursuitsWhat to eat, drink, wear and drive – in real life and your dreams. You will now receive the Pursuits newsletter Game PlanThe school, work and life hacks you need to get ahead. You will now receive the Game Plan newsletter While VeriFone has reaped the benefits of a U.S. shift to terminals that accept credit and debit cards with embedded digital chips, many major merchants have by now already made the switch, raising investor concern about a sales slowdown. In the U.S., the San Jose, California-based company risks losing market share to newer rivals vying for smaller merchants, like Square Inc. and First Data Corp.’s Clover, while macro-economic challenges loom in Brazil, Turkey and Russia.A spokesman for VeriFone said the company doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation. The company has said it’s planning to cut jobs, which could yield $30 million in cost savings next year, and reviewing underperforming businesses.Eugene Robin, principal at Cove Street Capital, which began buying the stock in June, said he’d oppose a takeover by Bergeron. The shares are trading about where they were when the former CEO left in 2016.“Basically, I think it’s the height of irony that the person who created the mess is talking about doing a buyout, ” Robin said in an interview. “If he came in and offered a 30 percent premium in a buyout, we’d sue him gladly. That cannot and will not happen. The guy had a horrendous track record of destroying value.”

Historically Volatile

VeriFone has been a historically volatile stock, falling to an all-time low of $4.11 in late 2008 and reaching an all-time high of $54.95 in March of 2011. Bergeron, once VeriFone’s largest individual shareholder, said he sold his shares last year.Bergeron, 55, said the competitive and economic issues in emerging markets “will sort themselves over time, ” and VeriFone would thrive with a better management team.Bergeron helped an investor group acquire VeriFone from Hewlett-Packard Co. in 2001, taking it public in 2005. Since leaving the company, he’s partnered with private-equity firm GTCR to form Opus Global Holdings and invest as much as $500 million to buy financial-industry assets and companies. Opus has made two acquisitions to date, Bergeron said. Now he sees value in looking at VeriFone again.“Ultimately, just like 2001, we saw a great brand in a mismanaged company, ” Bergeron said.

Mobile Wallet Growth

Despite recent struggles, VeriFone is expected to resume “mid-to-high single-digit” growth within the next few quarters, Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc., said in an e-mail. Over the next few years, VeriFone could see growth in terminal sales as more consumers use mobile wallets like Apple Pay, he said.The company also is looking beyond hardware, which accounted for 66 percent of fiscal 2015 revenue. Some analysts believe VeriFone should stay the course, having just completed a restructuring of the business under CEO Paul Galant.

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