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Visa Beats Street 1Q Forecasts, but Dollar Remains a Drag

By on January 28, 2016

NEW YORK – Visa said Thursday that its fiscal first-quarter results rose 24 percent from a year earlier, as more people spent money on Visa’s namesake credit and debit cards.

The San Francisco-based company reported earnings of $1.94 billion, or 80 cents a share, compared with $1.57 billion, or 63 cents a share, from a year earlier. Excluding a one-time adjustment, Visa earned 69 cents per share, beating estimates by a penny.

Visa cardholders spent $1.305 trillion dollars on credit and debit cards in the last three months of a year, up 11.5 percent from a year earlier, on a constant-dollar basis. But the strong U.S. dollar remains a headwind for Visa, as the company’s payment volume is up only 4.8 percent from a year ago when the dollar’s fluctuations are added back into Visa’s results.

Visa makes most of its revenue from charging a small fee for every transaction that is processed on Visa’s network. The more transactions processed by Visa, the more money the company brings in. U.S. payment volume, a key measure of Visa’s business since more than half of all Visa payments are done in the U.S., was up 9.5 percent from a year ago.

“We continue to be pleased with our financial performance given the uneven global economy and the ongoing negative effects of the strong U.S. dollar,” said Visa CEO Charlie Scharf in a prepared statement.

Scharf said the company continues to see weakness in Canada, Brazil and Russia and some early signs of spending weakness in places like the Middle East. In the U.S., Scharf said the company said consumer spending during the closely watched holiday season was at similar levels from a year earlier, with more spending moving online. Roughly 25 percent of all Visa transactions are now done online.

The global payments processor posted revenue of $3.57 billion in the period, which also beat Street forecasts. Eleven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $3.56 billion.

Visa Inc. shares have dropped 10 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has fallen slightly more than 7 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Thursday, shares hit $69.49, a rise of 13 percent in the last 12 months. The stock slipped 33 cents to $69 in after-hours trading.

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