October 24, 2018 / 8:20 PM / 9 months ago

Visa tops profit estimates as consumer spending grows

FILE PHOTO: Security staff stand next to a Visa logo at Murtala Muhammed International Airport before the arrival of the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team, in Lagos, Nigeria, as part of preparations ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

(Reuters) - Visa Inc (V.N) topped Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday, as the world’s largest payments network benefited from higher credit- and debit-card spending in a strengthening U.S. economy.

Visa’s total payments volume jumped 11 percent in the quarter ended September, while the number of processed transactions rose 12 percent. Payments volume represents the dollar amount of purchases made with cards carrying Visa’s branding.

Rising wages, job growth and lower taxes have spurred U.S. consumer confidence to its highest in nearly two decades, driving spending on everything from luxury goods to day-to-day essentials.

Visa, its rival Mastercard (MA.N) and credit-card issuer American Express (AXP.N), as a result, are processing more transactions and earning more in fees.

Visa's net income rose to $2.85 billion (£2.2 billion) in the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, from $2.14 billion a year earlier. (bit.ly/2AqtikU)

Excluding one-time items, Visa earned $1.21 per share, above analysts’ average estimate of $1.20, according to Refinitiv data. The result represents the ninth consecutive quarter of better-than-expected earnings for Visa.

Net operating revenue climbed 12 percent to $5.43 billion (£4.2 billion).

Shares of Visa, up about 21 percent this year, rose 1 percent in trading after the bell on Wednesday.

Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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