The use of prepaid debit cards at Cardtronics-owned ATMs continues to grow at a steady pace, with reloadable cards accounting for 16% of U.S. withdrawal volume during the third quarter.

Adjusted to account for recent acquisitions, the retail ATM owner has experienced year-over-year prepaid transaction count growth of approximately 20%, "and it continues to have a nice growth rate associated with it," CFO Chris Brewster told analysts during a Nov. 4 conference call to discuss third-quarter earnings.

A year earlier, prepaid cards accounted for more than 10% of Cardtronics' total ATM transaction volume, according to transcripts of the Houston-based company's quarterly earnings conference calls. This was a slight decline from the second quarter of 2012, when 14% of Cardtronics' ATM withdrawals were from prepaid cards, driven in large part by activity from prepaid cards loaded with consumers' federal income tax refunds.

The number of U.S. prepaid transactions at Cardtronics ATMs has grown 20% or more year-over-year in each of the past six quarters, according to commentary provided by executives during its earnings calls. The majority of prepaid activity occurs at ATMs on the Allpoint Network, Cardtronics' surcharge-free ATM network, which continues to grow internationally.

Cardtronics generated net revenue of $228.8 million in the third quarter of 2013, compared to $199 million a year earlier. The company posted a net loss of $8.4 million in the third quarter, compared to net income of $12.9 million a year earlier. Its results were impaired by reserves related to a pending retroactive property tax charge in the U.K. and one-time expenses related to its acquisition of European ATM operator CardPoint, which closed in August.

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