Visa raises outlook as card spending accelerates
By Aman Shah
(Reuters) - Visa Inc's quarterly profit beat estimates as people spent more using its cards, and the largest credit and debit card network raised its full-year outlook for revenue and earnings.
Visa also authorized a $1.5 billion share buyback program, sending its shares up about 3 percent in after-hours trading.
The company raised its full-year forecast for percentage growth in adjusted earnings per share to the "low twenties" from around 20 percent. It said it also expected percentage earnings-per-share growth in 2014 in the mid-to-high teens.
Chief Executive Charlie Scharf played down the European Commission's plan to limit interbank fees on card payments, noting that the proposed regulation would only apply to transactions where the issuer and acquirer are both in the EU.
The new rules, which would clamp down on fees banks charge on card payments and scrap hefty surcharges on shoppers paying with plastic, would particularly affect Visa Europe, which is owned by about 3,000 European banks.
Visa is boosting its electronic payment operations and rolling out a digital wallet service, V.me.
The company has signed up about 90 financial institutions including Bank of America Corp and PNC Financial Services Group for its V.me service, Scharf said.
PAYMENT GROWTH DRIVES PROFIT Continued...