Cheaper gasoline helps Visa report better-than-expected profit

Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:39pm EST
 
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By Amrutha Gayathri

(Reuters) - Visa Inc (V.N: Quote), the world's largest credit and debit card company, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as a strengthening U.S. job market and cheaper gasoline prices encouraged people to spend.

The company said e-commerce, which mainly uses cards, was "extraordinarily strong during the holiday season."

But Chief Executive Charlie Scharf said consumer spending on the whole, while at "reasonable" levels, was not accelerating.

Shares of the company, which also announced a 4-for-1 split of its class A common stock, rose about 4 percent in extended trading.

Visa, which earns money from both the volume and value of transactions using its cards, said total volume increased to $1.90 trillion from $1.84 trillion.

The company stands to benefit from China's recent decision to allow foreign card networks to clear domestic transactions, but Scharf said it remained unclear when the Chinese market would actually open and what the rules would look like.

Visa lost its right to process domestic payments in Russia in the middle of last year when Moscow hit back after the imposition of Western sanctions over its role in Ukraine.

Visa reaffirmed its revenue and margin forecasts for 2015 after taking into account an expected 2 percentage point negative impact from changes in foreign exchange rates.   Continued...

 
A Visa logo is seen during the International CTIA WIRELESS Conference & Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana May 9, 2012.  REUTERS/Sean Gardner