Visa results boosted by strong spending in person, online and on travel

Visa Inc. continued to see a bounce-back in face-to-face spending amid the economic recovery while e-commerce transactions driven by the pandemic remained strong, the company said Tuesday.

Visa
V,
+0.27%

posted fiscal third-quarter net income of $2.6 billion, or $1.18 a share, up from $2.37 billion, or $1.07 a share, a year earlier. Adjusted for equity investment gains and losses, acquisition costs and more, net income was $3.3 billion, or $1.49 a share.

Analysts tracked by FactSet were expecting $1.34 in earnings per share on both a GAAP basis and an adjusted basis.

Visa’s revenue for the quarter rose to $6.1 billion from $4.84 billion, while the FactSet consensus was for $5.86 billion in revenue.

Visa’s payments volume increased 34%. The company said cross-border travel spending improved as vaccination rates rose, with cross-border volume increasing 47% and cross-border volume excluding transactions within Europe climbing 53%. Processed transactions rose 39%.

“Visa delivered another strong quarter as many key economies are well into a reopening-driven recovery,” said Alfred Kelly Jr., chief executive of Visa, in a news release.

Chief Financial Officer Vasant Prabhu said on the earnings call that the company in the third quarter saw its “strongest growth since the pandemic started.” But he added that the recovery is not complete and there are “significant opportunities available for growth.”

Visa saw an improvement in credit spending relative to 2019 levels, which Prabhu said on the call reflected the “two interrelated factors” of “a significant acceleration in travel, entertainment and restaurant spending as well as a resurgence of affluent cardholder spending.”

Excluding travel, card-not-present volume, which largely consists of online spending, was up 59% from 2019 levels.

“We’re essentially seeing that even as the economy reopens, e-commerce spending is sustaining,” Prabhu told MarketWatch after the report. “Habits that people formed during the pandemic are sticking.”

Visa shares fell about 1% after hours after closing at $250.93, about 0.3% higher, in regular trading.

Visa’s report comes after an upbeat one from American Express Co.
AXP,
+0.19%

last week, in which the credit-card company easily exceeded revenue and earnings expectations while pointing to strong spending trends, including in the travel and entertainment categories that had been under pressure amid the pandemic. Amex disclosed that consumer travel and entertainment spending in the U.S. hit 98% of pre-pandemic levels during the month of June and continued to grow in July.

Payments peers PayPal Holdings Inc.
PYPL,
-2.06%

and Mastercard Inc.
MA,
-0.64%

are scheduled to post their own results Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, respectively.

Shares of Visa have gained more than 14% so far this year, matching gains for the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-0.24%
,
of which Visa is a component.

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