Visa Results Improve, Top Analysts' Expectations

Visaturned in a quarterly profit of $716 million, outpacing Wall Street estimates, as consumers resumed spending.

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The world's largest credit and debit card processing network said it earned 97 cents a share in its fiscal third quarter, up from 67 cents a share last year.

Sales for quarter grew to $2.03 billion, up 23 percent from $1.646 billion.

The results surpassed what was expected. A group of 29 analysts who follow Visa expected on average for the company to turn in a profit of 93 cents a share on sales of $1.972 billion, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

Visa saw "continued improvements" in the volume of payments it processed during the quarter, Chief Executive Joseph Saunders said in a news release.

But the company is at increased risk of losing revenues from the sweeping regulatory reform bill U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law last week. The bill overshadowed Visa's shares for most of the quarter, driving them down more than 14 percent since early May.

The new law will restrict the processing fees that banks and networks receive from merchants every time a consumer pays for a good with a debit card. Visa dominates the U.S. debit processing market and is more exposed than its rival MasterCard Inc to a cutback in debit interchange fees.

Saunders said in the news release that Visa expects the U.S. debit market to "undergo changes" after the law is implemented, but "it is too early to fully and accurately gauge the impact of the legislation."

In extended trading, Visa shares edged higher. Get after-hour quotes for Visa here.

The stock finished the regular New York Stock Exchange session almost 2 percent lower at $75.18.