Visa Quarterly Profit Rises, Tops Analyst Expectations

Visa reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Wednesday, as the world's largest credit card network sold its stake in Brazil's VisaNet, trimmed expenses and consumers used debit cards more.

The credit-card provider earned 67 cents a share in in its fiscal third quarter, excluding one-time items including the sale of an interest in a Brazilian venture, on sales of $1.65 billion.

In the same period last year, Visa reported 59 cents a share on sales of $1.61 billion.

Visa Card
Visa Card

Analysts who follow Visa expected the company to turn in a gain of 64 cents a share on sales of $1.64 billion, according to a consensus from Thomson Reuters.

Visa shares , which closed Wednesday at $66.78 on the New York Stock Exchange, were down about 1 percent in extended trading.

The stock is up 30 percent in 2009. Get after-hours quotes for Visa here.

Total processed transactions—which represent transactions processed by VisaNet—increased 8 percent to 10.3 billion, but payments volume fell 5 percent for the quarter ended March 31, which translates to revenue in the following quarter.

"As we look forward to the remainder of our fiscal 2009 year and beyond, we will remain focused on leveraging our inherent operating scale, maintaining strong financial performance and expense control," Chief Executive Joseph Saunders said in a statement.

The company adjusted its estimate of capital expenses for 2009 to around $300 million from a range of $300 million to $350 million.

Visa is partially insulated from the credit crisis because it processes transactions rather than lends funds. However, the company has seen a slowdown in the growth of revenue and transaction volumes as battered consumers used their credit cards less.

Visa also said it created a joint venture with U.S. Bancorp called Syncada to provide network services to corporations and governments to process and track invoices, and make and receive payments.

The credit card network made an unspecified capital investment in Syncada, while U.S. Bancorp contributed with the technology platform and personnel.

Visa reiterated its forecast of annual net revenue growth of high single digits in 2009 and at the lower end of the 11 to 15 percent range in 2010.

The company also affirmed its annual adjusted diluted class A common stock earnings per share will grow over 20 percent.

-AP contributed to this report.