Visa earnings fall due to costs tied to Visa Europe purchase

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Credit and debit card processor Visa Inc. said its fiscal third-quarter earnings fell 76 per cent from a year ago, largely due to the cost of completing its purchase of its operations in Europe.

San Francisco-based Visa said it earned a profit of $412 million, or 17 cents per share, down from $1.7 billion, or 69 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. The results included several one-time items, but the largest one was a $1.9 billion charge related to the ending of a framework agreement between Visa and Visa Europe.

Excluding those one-time charges, Visa earned 69 cents per share, 2 cents above the 67 cents that analysts had been looking, according to FactSet.

“While little has changed in the global economic environment, and cross-border commerce continues to be challenged by a strong U.S. dollar, domestic consumer spend across the globe remains strong and resilient,” said Visa CEO Charlie Scharf in prepared remarks.

Visa processed $1.347 trillion in purchases on its network in the quarter, up 10.2 per cent from a year ago, excluding currency fluctuations. Visa’s payment processing volume is closely watched by investors since Visa takes a small slice of every transaction as a fee.

The global payments processor posted revenue of $3.63 billion in the period, meeting Street forecasts.

Visa also announced a partnership with PayPal at the same time as reporting its results. Visa cards will be more prominently accepted on PayPal and its subsidiary Venmo, and its customers will be able to send and withdraw money more quickly.

Visa shares have increased almost 2 per cent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has increased almost 6 per cent. In the final minutes of trading on Thursday, shares hit $78.79, an increase of slightly more than 9 per cent in the last 12 months.


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