First Data's ( FDC) third-quarter earnings slipped 8% from a year ago despite higher revenue, as the company spent money to integrate a recent acquisition.

The payment transfer provider earned $421.5 million, or 54 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with earnings of $460.6 million, or 54 cents a share, a year ago (the share count fell about 9% year-over-year). Revenue totaled $2.68 billion in the latest quarter, up about 6% from a year ago.

Net income in the 2005 quarter was cut by a net 6 cents a share by items including the Concord EFS integration expense. Excluding the charge, EPS of 60 cents matched the Thomson First Call consensus estimate. Revenue was also in line with forecasts.

Among the company's major segments, payment services posted third-quarter revenue of $1.1 billion, up 12% from a year ago, and operating profit of $361 million, up 8%. Merchant services saw revenue rise 8% from a year ago to $1.1 billion and operating profit rise 7% to $266 million. Revenue fell 4% to $594 million at First Data's card-issuing services division while operating profit slid 25% to $116 million.

On a post-earnings conference call First Data reportedly pegged full-year earnings at $2.19 to $2.23 a share including a 13-cent charge. The consensus estimate is $2.28 a share.

The stock was up $1.46, or 3.8%, to $40.30 on Instinet.

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