Visa Tops Forecast, Authorizes $1.5 Billion Buyback

Visa reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations, authorized a new $1.5 billion share repurchase program and raised its dividend by 50 percent on Wednesday.

Visa Tops Forecast, Authorizes $1.5 Billion Buyback

After the earnings announcement, the company's shares ose lightly in trading after the closing bell. (Click here to get the latest quotes for Visa.)

Visa's profit rose to $1.7 billion, or $2.47 per share, from $880 million, or $1.27 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding a special gain related to the reversal of previously recorded tax reserves, the company's profit was $1 billion or $1.54 per share.

Revenue increased 13 percent to $2.7 billion from $2.38 billion a year ago. Payment volumes grew 6 percent to $1 trillion.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of $1.50 a share on $2.68 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

The company said it expects annual net revenue growth in the low double digits and adjusted earnings per share growth in the high-teens in percentage terms for fiscal 2013.

"Visa delivered strong financial performance for the fourth quarter and full year, a result of our focus on growing our core business, accelerating expansion of our business outside the U.S.," outgoing Chief Executive Joseph Saunders said.

The company said last week that Charles Scharf, a former head of JPMorgan Chase's retail financial-services division, will succeed Saunders, effective Nov. 1.

Visa's results came after rival credit-card company MasterCard this morning reported its profit rose, helped by strong international growth.