Visa Posts Earnings Beat Despite Strong Dollar

The company is continuing to see relatively strong payments volume growth but the dollar has "meaningfully reduced" revenue growth.
Matthew HellerJanuary 29, 2016

Visa posted better-than-expected profits for its first quarter despite the headwinds of a strong dollar and an uneven global economy.

The credit card processing giant said adjusted earnings were 69 cents a share on revenue of $3.565 billion for the period ended Dec. 31. Analysts had expected earnings of 68 cents and revenue of $3.62 billion.

Total payments volume rose 11% to $1.3 trillion on a constant-dollar basis, but was up only 4.8% from a year ago when the dollar’s fluctuations are added back into Visa’s results. U.S. payment volumes, which account for more than half of Visa’s total payment volumes, jumped 9.5%.

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“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,” CEO Charlie Scharf said in a news release. “While we continue to see relatively strong payments volume growth, these factors have meaningfully reduced our cross-border volume and revenue growth.”

The volume of Visa’s cross-border transactions, in which the credit issuer’s country differs from that of the merchant’s, rose 4% on a constant-dollar basis, compared to an 8% increase in the year-ago quarter.

Canada, Brazil, Russia, the Middle East and Japan were among the markets that showed some of the weakest payment volumes. Scharf said U.S. consumer spending during the closely watched holiday season was at similar levels from a year earlier, with more spending moving online. Roughly 25% of all Visa transactions are now done online.

The environment “is clearly a mixed bag,” Scharf told analysts in a conference call.

Visa kept its outlook for the full year unchanged, with high single-digit to low double-digit revenue growth expected in constant dollars and adjusted earnings growth at the low end of the mid-teens range.

The company’s shares have dropped 10% since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has fallen slightly more than 7%. In trading Friday, the stock closed up more than 7%, at $74.25.