Visa posts higher quarterly profit

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – Visa Inc posted a stronger-than-expected profit on Wednesday, helped by rising debit card processing volume.

The company’s shares rose 2.6 percent in after-hours trading to $85.75, a stark contrast when it traded at a 52-week low a year ago.

Visa, operator of the world’s largest credit and debit payment network, receives fees whenever consumers use one of its credit or debit cards. As consumers increasingly pay using plastic, the company’s revenue rises.

The operator of world’s largest credit and debit payment network said quarterly profit was $763 million, or $1.02 a share, in its fiscal first quarter, ended Dec 31, compared with profit of $574 million, or 74 cents per class A share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

That beat analysts’ average forecast for earnings of 91 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue was $1.96 billion, compared with $1.74 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue rose in part because payment volume on Visa debit cards for the quarter ended in September rose 8 percent to $268 billion. That quarter translates to revenue in the quarter ended in December.

Visa said it expected annual net revenue growth of between 11 percent and 15 percent. In October, the company said it expected revenue in the lower end of that range.

Visa, which does not lend at all, pulled off a record U.S. IPO almost two years ago as investors seized on its growth potential and lack of direct exposure to the global credit crisis.

Stock Market Money

(Reporting by Dan Wilchins; editing by Andre Grenon, Steve Orlofsky and Bernard Orr)

Visa posts higher quarterly profit