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Visa posts higher profit, revenue in Q3 on growth in payment volume

FOSTER CITY, California--Visa Inc. said Thursday that its profit climbed 11 percent in its fiscal third quarter versus a year earlier, aided by solid growth in payments volume, service revenue and transactions.

The payments processor's latest financial results beat or matched Wall Street expectations, but the company reduced its earnings outlook for the year. CEO Charlie Scharf noted issues including a stronger U.S. dollar and slow growth in international transactions.

Visa shares slumped 3.4 percent in after-market trading.

Foster City, California-based Visa is the world's largest processor of debit and credit card payments. As such, it benefits from heightened consumer spending, and its results are closely watched because they can be a window into the buying habits and financial health of consumers.

In the April-June quarter, the volume of credit and debit card transactions made on Visa's network grew 6 percent to US$1.84 trillion. Of that, US$748 billion came from U.S. transactions, a gain of about 9 percent.

Visa's transactions growth echoes data that show increased spending by consumers in recent months as unemployment declines.

Employers are hiring at a healthy pace, knocking the unemployment rate down to 6.1 percent, the lowest in nearly six years. That makes Americans more confident to spend. Consumer spending at retail stores picked up an average of 0.5 percent in the April-June quarter after a severe winter weighed on sales earlier this year.

All told, Visa reported that its profit increased to US$1.36 billion, or US$2.17 per share, from US$1.23 billion, or US$1.88 per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. The average per-share estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of US$2.09.

Revenue rose 5.1 percent to US$3.16 billion from US$3 billion in the same quarter a year earlier, matching Wall Street's forecasts.

Visa shares ended regular trading up US$1.54 at US$222.74. The stock slid US$7.49 to US$215.25 in extended trading.

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