Payments stocks were weighted just a bit to the upside as earnings season got officially under way. Though dominated by the likes of Visa and American Express, earnings reports also saw contributions from other companies.

Most notable among companies on the upswing was Alliance Data Systems, which racked up gains of more than 8 percent, on the heels of results that bested the Street. Adjusted earnings per share came in at $3.91 versus the consensus of $3.86. The top line also edged expectations, at $1.88 billion, better than the $1.79 billion projected.

Blackhawk Network shares climbed a bit, up 4 percent, on news last week that First Analysis had boosted its price target in the company by $3 to $47 Thursday (April 20), continuing with an overweight rating. American Express, similarly, followed just behind with a 4 percent again as consumer spending drove both top and bottom lines ahead of the Street, showing a rebound post-Costco.

Movement to the downside was a bit more muted as NCR Corp. said that earnings were a full dime, at $0.56, better than the Street had anticipated, buoyed by software sales growth of 8 percent and cloud software sales growth of 6 percent took sales and earnings-per-share guidance up for the year.

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Source: http://www.pymnts.com – Payments
Slight Gains For Payments Stocks