Visa profit beats estimates on resilient consumer spending

Visa profit beats estimates on resilient consumer spending
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Visa credit card is seen on a computer keyboard in this picture illustration taken September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Illustration//File Photo

By Mehnaz Yasmin

(Reuters) – Visa Inc (NYSE:)’s first-quarter profit beat Wall Street targets on Thursday as its payments volume held steady with Americans still spending on international travel despite an economic slowdown.

Shares of the company rose 1.5% in late afternoon trading.

The world’s largest payments processor said total cross-border volumes – a key measure that tracks spending on cards beyond the country of issue – jumped 22% on a constant dollar basis in the quarter. Total payment volumes added 7%.

That was, however, far lower than last year’s 40% surge in cross-border volumes and a 20% jump in payments volumes.

“Consumer spending is holding its own – it’s certainly not falling off a cliff – but we’re seeing more headwinds as the cumulative effects of high inflation and higher interest rates take their toll,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate.com.

GRPAHIC: Visa’s revenue vis-à-vis transactions processed (https://www.reuters.com/graphics/VISA-RESULTS/NETWORK/znvnbzwqbvl/chart.png)

Visa’s revenue rose at the slowest rate in seven quarters, gaining 12% to $7.9 billion.

Earlier in the day, rival Mastercard Inc (NYSE:) forecast current-quarter revenue growth below expectations as pent-up demand for travel was seen slowing going forward.

“Growth in the travel sector may be harder to come by in 2023 as some of the pent-up demand that stacked up during the pandemic and was unleashed in 2022 is fading,” said Rossman.

Visa said in October that while outbound travel from the United States to all geographies continued to pick up steam, a stronger greenback does not bode well for the American tourism industry, which relies heavily on international travelers.

The company on Thursday reported a profit of $2.18 a share, comfortably above the $2.01 estimated by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

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