VISA/

(Reuters)

Visa 4Q EPS Matches Street View

By Earnings FOXBusiness

Visa (V) reported a 28% decline in its fourth-quarter earnings amid a tough year-over-year comparison, while the company’s revenue was lifted by a surge in credit card transactions.

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In its first quarterly report since being added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Visa said its net income for the period was $1.19 billion compared to $1.66 billion a year earlier. Per-share earnings fell to $1.85 from $2.47.

Year-ago adjusted earnings, which excluded a favorable tax reserve benefit, were $1.54 a share.

Revenue rose 9% to $2.97 billion.

Visa’s profit met Wall Street expectations, while analysts were looking for revenue of $3.02 billion.

The company benefited as consumers paid more with plastic in the latest period. Payments volume rose 13% to $1.1 trillion, as Visa processed a total of 15.5 billion transactions, up 14% year-over-year. Cross-border volume growth jumped 11%.

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Service revenue was up 10% at $1.4 billion.

“We continued investing in high growth regions of the world, in products and technology to drive our performance, while maintaining disciplined expense control,” CEO Charlie Scharf said in a statement.

Total operating expenses were $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter, a 1% increase.

Looking ahead, Visa expects net revenue growth in the low double-digits in 2014. The company affirmed its view for EPS growth in the mid to high teens.

Visa also said its board approved a $5 billion stock repurchase program.

Shares slumped after hours Wednesday, trading 2.6% lower at $198.50. The stock is up 34.2% this year.

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