Diebold Inc.’s bread-and-butter business, making and servicing automated teller machines, is best known for dispensing cash.

Wednesday, the Green company made cash for shareholders — a lot of it as the stock price surged by nearly 6 percent.

Company executives also raised their estimates on how much revenue and earnings they expect the global maker of ATMs and security systems to make this fiscal year.

Diebold said it earned nearly $45.2 million, or 71 cents per share, on revenue of $698.5 million for the quarter. That compares to earnings of $2.5 million, or 4 cents a share, on revenue of nearly $614.2 million for the first quarter of 2011.

Revenue was up 13.7 percent from a year ago. Diebold said it had adjusted net earnings of 74 cents per share, up from a comparable 21 cents per share for the same period last year.

Shares rose $2.25, or 5.9 percent, to a 52-week high of $40.68 as Diebold reported record earnings per share for its first quarter ending March 31. Diebold shares are up 36.3 percent, including dividends, since Jan. 1 and are up 15.1 percent from a year ago.

“Given the strong start to the year and a continued underlying strength in our markets, we have increased confidence in our ability to generate sustainable growth,” Thomas Swidarski, Diebold’s president and chief executive officer, said in opening statements to industry analysts. “Therefore, we are raising our full-year outlook for both the revenue and earnings.”

Diebold now expects revenue in 2012 to grow 7 to 10 percent over 2011 levels; the company previously predicted revenue growth of 3 to 6 percent.

Earnings for the year are now expected to range from $2.38 to $2.61 per share. The company previously estimated earnings of $2.18 to $2.41.

Diebold said it saw strong demand for its products and services in North America and benefited in part by the need for banks to install ATMs that meet new regulatory requirements. Service contracts also grew, Swidarski said.

Revenue in Diebold’s security business fell by 6 percent, which the company said it expected.

Diebold also is seeing growing demand for its products and services elsewhere in the world, Swidarski said.

Banks are speeding up their technology upgrade cycles and seek more complex and reliable machines and software, Swidarski told analysts. The latest automated teller machines do far more than simply dispense cash, he said.

Banks also are looking to reduce costs by replacing human tellers with the latest technology, and that opens up new opportunities for Diebold, he said. There are perhaps 110,000 bank branches in the United States, each with between three and 10 tellers, he said.

“You’ve got the opportunity to talk about 100,000-plus devices doing things that the teller used to do at a much lower cost,” Swidarski said.

In other news, Swidarski said in a letter that Diebold will hold discussions with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office about recently announced plans to move about 200 information technology, accounting and other so-called “back office” jobs from Diebold’s global operations, including from its Northeast Ohio headquarters, to Hyderabad, India. The company said the move was largely because the software skills it needs are available in India.

Wednesday, Brown, D-Ohio, announced he sent a letter to Swidarski seeking to find ways to keep those jobs in Northeast Ohio.

Brown’s letter asked Diebold to work with his office to address the skills issue.

“Each year, I bring together the presidents of Ohio’s two- and four-year colleges — state universities, two-year community colleges, and private colleges — to have productive discussions on issues confronting our state, their students and Ohio employers,” Brown wrote. “Given these partnerships, I believe that my office could coordinate a collaborative approach to address Diebold’s skill issues, while keeping work in Ohio. Additional information would be necessary for us to bring together the appropriate schools with your staff to see if, together, we could meet your company needs in Ohio. ... These schools may very well meet your needs, enabling you to keep this work in Ohio.”

Swidarski’s letter noted that Diebold currently has about 200 available jobs in Ohio and is “eager and willing” to work with Brown’s office about finding ways to “facilitate our needs for technical skills in key areas.”

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com.