Visa Unveils 1Q Earnings Beat, $500M Share Buyback

Visa (NYSE:V) posted a 21% year-over-year jump in its fiscal first-quarter earnings per share after the closing bell Wednesday, topping Wall Street’s estimates and sending its stock jumping in after-hours trading.

The credit-card processor posted a quarterly profit of $1.03 billion, or $1.49 a diluted share, compared to $884 million the year prior. Sales came in at $2.55 billion, up from $2.24 billion on a year-to-year basis. Analysts expected Visa to earn $1.45 a share on slightly lighter revenue of $2.47 billion.

The upbeat results were driven by “strong double-digit growth in service revenues, data processing revenues and international transaction revenues,” the company said in a statement. Indeed, the number of payments the company processed during the quarter climbed 8% to 13.6 billion.

Looking ahead, the San Francisco-based firm sees low double-digit revenue growth in 2012 coupled with adjusted per-share growth in the high teens.

“We remain intensely focused on further growing our international business, partnering with financial institutions, merchants, technology providers and governments," Joe Saunders, Visa’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

"At the same time, we are moving forward on our innovation strategy and are working side by side with our financial institution and merchant clients to deliver the products and solutions that best drive our mutual success."

Visa’s board also authorized a fresh $500 million share repurchase program that will go into effect in February 2013.

Shares were up $1.85, 1.7%, to $110.52 in after-hours trading.