Visa profit, revenue beats analysts’ estimates

(Reuters) – Visa Inc <V.N>, the world’s largest payments network operator, reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, boosted by the inclusion of Visa Europe’s results and as customers spent more using its network.

The company said total payments volume increased 47.1 percent to $1.86 trillion on a constant dollar basis in the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30.

“We have begun to see the benefits from our acquisition of Visa Europe and strong cost discipline helped our results,” said Chief Executive Charles Scharf, who said last week that he would step down effective Dec. 1.

Scharf’s last big move in his four-year tenure was to consolidate Visa’s position as the world’s largest payments processor with the $23 billion-deal to buy Visa Europe, a deal that was completed in June.

The United States accounted for about 41 percent of the total payments volume in the latest quarter, while Europe accounted for about 25 percent, Visa said.

Cross-border volumes jumped 149 percent, including Visa Europe and on a constant dollar basis.

Operating expenses rose 27 percent to $1.64 billion, mainly driven by the inclusion of Visa Europe, the company said.

Visa’s net income rose 27.7 percent to $1.93 billion, or 79 cents per Class A share. Excluding special items, it earned 78 cents per share.

Total operating revenue rose 19.3 percent to $4.26 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting Visa to earn 73 cents per share and revenue of $4.23 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Visa’s shares initially rose, before falling 1.2 percent in choppy trading after the bell.

Up to Monday’s close of $83.17, they had risen about 7.24 percent this year, compared with a rise of about 6 percent for MasterCard Inc <MA.N>.

MasterCard, San Francisco-based Visa’s closest rival, is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results on Oct. 28.

(Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)