Visa profit beats; authorizes $1.75 billion buyback

Thu Feb 7, 2013 3:53am IST

Visa credit cards are displayed in Washington October 27, 2009. REUTERS/Jason Reed/Files

Visa credit cards are displayed in Washington October 27, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed/Files

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REUTERS - Visa Inc's (V.N) quarterly profit beat analysts' estimates for the ninth quarter in a row as payment volume growth accelerated at the largest credit- and debit-card network.

The company's profit rose to $1.3 billion, or $1.93 per Class A share, from $1.0 billion, or $1.49 per Class A share, a year earlier.

Visa reported an adjusted profit of $1.82 per share, topping analysts' average estimate of $1.79 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total operating revenue rose 12 percent to $2.80 billion.

The Foster City, California-based company also authorized a new $1.75 billion share buyback program, raising total outstanding authorization to $2.9 billion.

Payment volumes grew 9 percent to $1.1 trillion, while processed transactions grew 4 percent.

"Visa again delivered a strong quarter of revenue and earnings driven by success across our global franchise," Chief Executive Charlie Scharf said in a statement.

Scharf, a former head of JPMorgan Chase & Co's (JPM.N) retail financial services division, took over as chief executive in November.

Smaller rival MasterCard Inc (MA.N) reported better-than expected results last week. MasterCard also doubled its quarterly cash dividend on Tuesday and said it would buy back up to $2 billion of its Class A shares.

Visa said it expects annual net revenue growth in the low double-digits and adjusted Class A earnings per share growth in the high-teens for 2013.

The company expects annual operating margin of about 60 percent.

Shares of the company closed at $160.82 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Jochelle Mendonca; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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