Visa Inc posted higher-than-expected quarterly earnings on Tuesday, as consumers used their debit cards more, and the company raised its dividend and authorized a share repurchase plan, sending shares up 1 percent.
Net income was $514 million, or 69 cents a share, for the fourth quarter ended September 30, compared with a net loss of $356 million, or 45 cents, a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, quarterly net income rose 23 percent to $552 million, or 74 cents per share.
That was 2 cents better than analysts average forecast of 72 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Visa is partly insulated from the credit crisis because it processes transactions rather than lends funds. But the company has seen a slowdown in the growth of revenue and transaction volumes as consumers used their credit cards less.
The world's largest payment network increased its quarterly dividend by 19 percent and authorized a $1 billion share repurchase plan.
Net operating revenue rose 10 percent to $1.9 billion, while adjusted operating expenses rose 2 percent to $960 million.
Total processed transactions -- which represent transactions processed by VisaNet -- increased 9 percent to 10.3 billion, but payments volume fell 2 percent for the quarter ended June 30, which translates to revenue in the following quarter.
It's a good set of numbers, and the outlook is pretty much in line, with Visa's previous estimates, said Robert Dodd, an analyst at Morgan, Keegan & Co.
The payment network reiterated net revenue growth at the lower end of the 11 percent to 15 percent range in its fiscal 2010 year, and annual diluted class A common stock earnings per share growth of more than 20 percent.
Visa forecast marketing expenses of less than $1 billion in 2010, and capital expenditures in the $200 million to $250 million range, up to one-third less than in 2009.
Visa's shares were up 1.0 percent at $74.58 in after-hours trade, after closing up 1.54 percent on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Juan Lagorio, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)