Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the FIS Global Q4 2014 earnings teleconference call.
At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we'll conduct a question-and-answer session with instructions being given at that time. (Operator Instructions). As a reminder, today's conference call will be recorded.
And I would now like to turn the conference over to our host, Mr. Pete Gunnlaugsson. Please go ahead, sir.
Thank you, Brad. Good morning, everyone and welcome to our fourth quarter 2014 earnings conference call.
Gary Norcross, President and CEO will begin with a summary of our financial performance followed by the operations report. Woody Woodall, CFO, will continue with a detailed financial review. Today's news release and the supplemental slide presentation are available on our website at fisglobal.com.
(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)
Today's remarks will also include references to non-GAAP financial measures in order to provide more meaningful comparisons between the periods presented. These non-GAAP measures are outlined on slide four. Reconciliations between the GAAP and the non-GAAP results are provided in the attachments to the press release.
With that, I will turn the call over to Gary to discuss the fourth quarter financial highlights on slide six. Gary?
Thank you, Pete and good morning everyone. Thank you for joining us on today's call. Turning to slide six, 2014 proved to be another very strong year. We drove consistent execution, continued to deliver on our financial commitments to our shareholders and achieved our full year growth outlook.
We finished the year with record revenue of 6.4 billion reflecting 6% year-over-year growth. We drove adjusted EBITDA of 1.9 billion and adjusted earnings per share of $3.10, growing our earnings per share by 10% year-over-year. We generated free cash flow of $864 million.
In the fourth quarter our results are equally as strong; revenue increased 7%, EBITDA increased 9%, margins expanded 30 basis points and adjusted earnings per share increased 16% over the prior year period. We finished the year on a strong footing with continued sales success across all markets, a robust pipeline and good visibility heading into 2015
Turning to slide seven, consistent with our growth strategy, we are using our significant cash flow to drive value for our clients and our shareholders. First, we continue to invest for growth in our operations that target global financial institutions, as well as strategic solution oriented acquisitions including Clear2Pay, Reliance Trust and CMSI, all of which strengthen our payments well and lending capabilities respectively.
Second, we maintained our strong balance sheet ending the year with leverage of 2.6 times debt-to-EBITDA, which reflects complete deleveraging of our investment in Clear2Pay during the fourth quarter. Our continued financial discipline was recognized by upgrades from both Fitch and Standard & Poor's during 2014.
Third, we continue to deliver strong value to our investors returning $750 million to our shareholders in 2014 through $475 million of stock repurchases and $275 million in dividends. We also recently announced an 8% increase in the quarterly
President and CEO
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