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International Expansion Fuels Visa Inc. Earnings

By Joe Tenebruso - Updated Apr 25, 2017 at 6:22AM

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CFO Vasant Prabhu says the payment giant is enjoying robust growth "across the globe."

Visa (V 4.51%) reported fiscal second-quarter results on April 20. The payment-processing titan delivered strong increases in revenue and profits, aided by its acquisition of Visa Europe and major new business wins here in the U.S.

Visa results: The raw numbers

Metric

Q2 2017

Q2 2016

Year-Over-Year Change

Revenue

$4.477 billion

$3.626 billion

23%

Adjusted net income

$2.066 billion

$1.626 billion

27%

Adjusted EPS

$0.86

$0.68

27%

Data source: Visa Q2 2017 earnings press release. EPS = earnings per share.

Credit cards

Image source: Getty Images.

What happened with Visa this quarter?

Net operating revenue jumped 23% year over year to $4.5 billion, as Visa successfully furthered its integration of Visa Europe and expanded its business across all of its primary operating segments.

Service revenue, which is recognized based on payment volume in the prior quarter, increased 17% to $2 billion, as payments volume leapt 39% on a constant dollar basis to $1.8 trillion. That strong growth continued during the first three months of 2017, with payments volume rising 37%, to $1.7 trillion, during that time.

Helping to drive those results, international payments volume soared 68% in constant dollars. "Robust payment volume growth continued across the globe," CFO Vasant Prabhu said during a conference call with analysts. U.S. payments volume was also strong at 12%, boosted by a 21% rise in credit growth, which was driven in part by Visa's recent wins of large credit card portfolios from Costco and USAA.

Data-processing revenue rose 25% to $1.8 billion, with the number of transactions processed on Visa's network surging 42% to 26.3 billion. Total processed transactions -- adjusted to include Visa Europe in prior-year results -- increased 12% year over year.

International transaction revenue grew 41% to $1.5 billion, as constant currency cross-border volume soared 132% (11% when normalizing for Visa Europe).

Client incentives, which are a contra revenue item, were $1 billion. That represented 18.7% of gross revenues, compared to 18.9% in the prior-year period.

Adjusted operating expenses increased 24% to $1.5 billion, due primarily to costs associated with the acquisition of Visa Europe.

All told, net income -- adjusted to exclude nonrecurring items related to the reorganization of Visa Europe and the creation of the Visa Foundation -- rose 27% to $2.1 billion, or $0.86 per share.

Looking forward

These strong results prompted Visa to update its financial outlook for fiscal 2017. The company now expects full-year net revenue growth to come in at the high end of its previously communicated range of 16% to 18%. Moreover, Visa said it now anticipates that its fiscal 2017 adjusted earnings-per-share growth will also be at the top end of its prior "mid-teens" forecast. And, as an additional sign of management's optimism, Visa announced a new $5 billion share-repurchase program.

"In the face of geo-political uncertainty, Visa continues to execute well against our operating plan and strategic priorities, delivering sustained growth across nearly every part of our business," said CEO Alfred Kelly in a press release. "Looking ahead, we are continuing our efforts across the globe to electronify commerce and digitize economies to the benefit of consumers and societies alike."

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