Visa profit, revenue beat analysts' estimates

October 24, 2016 4:15 PM EDT

The logo of Dow Jones Industrial Average stock market index listed company Visa (V) is seen in Los Angeles, California, United States, April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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(Reuters) - Visa Inc (NYSE: V), the world's largest payments network operator, reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, boosted by the inclusion of Visa Europe's results and as customers spent more using its network.

The company said total payments volume increased 47.1 percent to $1.86 trillion on a constant dollar basis in the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, from a year earlier.

"We have begun to see the benefits from our acquisition of Visa Europe and strong cost discipline helped our results," Chief Executive Charles Scharf said in a statement.

Scharf last week said he would be stepping down effective Dec. 1. The last big move in his four-year tenure was the consolidation of Visa's position as the world's largest payments processor with the $23 billion deal to buy Visa Europe, a deal that was completed in June.

The United States accounted for about 41 percent of the total payments volume in the latest quarter, while Europe accounted for about 25 percent, Visa said.

Cross-border volumes jumped 149 percent, including Visa Europe and on a constant dollar basis.

Operating expenses rose 27 percent to $1.64 billion, mainly driven by the inclusion of Visa Europe, the company said.

Excluding special items, the company earned 78 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 73 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total operating revenue rose 19.3 percent to $4.26 billion, brushing past expectations of $4.23 billion.

For the current financial year, the company expects adjusted earnings per Class A share to grow in the mid-teens and net revenue to grow in the 16-18 percent range, both on a nominal dollar basis.

Analysts were expecting earnings per share to rise 16.9 percent and revenue to grow 19.6 percent.

The uncertainty related to Brexit and economic weakness in Europe are likely to hurt both domestic and cross-border volumes in 2017, Chief Financial Officer Vasant Prabhu said in a post-earnings call.

Visa's shares were down 0.4 percent in choppy trading after the bell.

Up to Monday's close of $83.17, the company's shares had risen about 7.2 percent this year, compared with a rise of about 6 percent for MasterCard Inc (NYSE: MA).

MasterCard, San Francisco-based Visa's closest rival, is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results on Oct. 28.

(Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Maju Samuel)

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