The Information Technology 100
As a payment processor to the world, First Data rode the wave of consumers gorging on credit and debit cards last year. Meanwhile, its Western Union unit glided along on the huge international money-wiring business, generating gargantuan profits. Western Union produced 34% of the company's revenues last year -- but nearly 50% of operating profits. With margins exceeding 30%, the money transfer business is proving a cash machine that helped the Greenwood, Colo.-based firm produce $2.3 billion in cash flow from operations last year.
Now, chief executive Charles T. Fote is pushing the firm deeper into that business and the emerging priority of fighting financial fraud, especially online. In May, First Data added Vigo Remittance, which specializes in the fast-growing Hispanic immigrant segment, to its pile of outlets sending money. To fight hackers and identity thieves, the company stiffened authentication of transactions and added new technology to its TeleCheck unit.
|Return on Equity||21.8%|
|CORPORATE WEB SITE|
All figures are for the most recent available 12 months.
* Latest available data for the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, Jan. 31, Feb. 29, Mar. 31, or Apr. 30. For companies that do not report quarterly, the most recent annual data were used.
Data provided by Standard & Poor's Compustat, BusinessWeek
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