[IMGCAP(1)]

Despite a worsening economy during last year's fourth quarter, Heartland posted gains on a number of fronts, though earnings were below what analysts had predicted. The company reported net income for the quarter of $8 million, up 17.6% from $6.8 million a year earlier. Net revenues were $100.1 million, up 31.4% from $76.2 million. Transaction-processing volume for the quarter was $16.5 billion, up 23% from $13.4 billion a year earlier. Heartland reported 21 cents diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter, up from 17 cents per share a year earlier. For 2008, diluted earnings per share were $1.08 compared with 90 cents for 2007. To preserve cash for a challenging year ahead, Heartland today cut its regular quarterly dividend to 2.5 cents per share from 9 cents per share.

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