Visa Inc. Tops Expectations as Earnings Jump 15%

Thanks to strong revenue growth, Visa announced another impressive quarter as its earnings per share rose 15% over last year to stand at $2.17.

Jul 24, 2014 at 5:51PM

After the market closed today Visa (NYSE:V) announced its earnings per share stood at $2.17 in the third quarter of its 2014 fiscal year, a 15% gain over the same period last year.

The driving forces behind the growth came from gains in its data processing and service revenues, which rose by $130 million and $119 million, respectively. However these were partially offset by the fact Visa reported a sizable increase in its client incentives, the fees it pays to financial institutions in an effort to build the volume of its payments, which rose by 23%, or $117 million.

Visa

In total its revenue rose by 5% to stand at $3.2 billion. In addition Visa also recognized a 3% decline in its operating expenses, which fell by $38 million to stand at $1.1 billion.

Visa's net income rose 11% to stand at $1.4 billion. The reason for the higher percentage gain in its earnings per share was the fact the company has seen its shares outstanding fall by 3.7% over the last year. It has continued to repurchase its shares, and $1.2 billion of repurchases were made in the most recent quarter. Based on the current authorization from its board of directors, it still has $1.9 billion of share repurchases available.

"We are pleased to report 15% earnings-per-share growth in the face of a continued, subdued global economy," said the CEO of Visa, Charlie Scharf, in the earnings announcement. "As expected, revenue growth was affected by a strong U.S. dollar and tepid growth from cross-border transactions. More importantly, global payments volume and processed transactions remained healthy and strong."

Visa saw its worldwide total volume grow by 9.9% on a constant dollar basis to stand at $1.8 trillion. Interestingly enough, its credit volume in the U.S. grew 12%, whereas its international growth stood at 9.7%. However on the debit side of things, international growth was up 11%, and U.S. growth was up 7.1%.

Perhaps the one sign of concern for investors came when Visa updated its revenue growth expectation to between 9% and 10% versus the previously announced 10% to 11%. However it did note it anticipates its earnings-per-share growth will be between 17.5% and 18.5%.

"While some of the headwinds will likely continue in the short-term, we are confident our investments in products such as Visa Checkout, new technologies like tokenization, and new relationships with financial institutions and merchants will continue to drive double-digit revenue growth over the long-term," Scharf said to conclude his remarks.

According the 30 analysts polled by Yahoo! Finance, the $2.17 in earnings per share seen in the second quarter topped the average expectation of $2.10 per share.

While the slight lowering of guidance may cause some investors concerns, the third quarter of its 2014 fiscal year marked another strong one for Visa.

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Patrick Morris has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Visa. The Motley Fool owns shares of Visa. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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