Jul 21, 5:46 PM EDT

Visa earnings fall due to costs tied to Visa Europe purchase


AP Photo
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

NEW YORK (AP) -- Credit and debit card processor Visa Inc. said its fiscal third-quarter earnings fell 76 percent from a year ago, largely due to the cost of completing its purchase of its operations in Europe.

San Francisco-based Visa said Thursday 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 tied to Visa completing its $23.4 billion purchase of 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 had a busy quarter. It finished its purchase of Visa Europe, and the company is now working quickly to integrate the two companies, Scharf said in a call with investors. Visa also became the exclusive credit card processor for Costco last month, replacing American Express. The company also renewed several credit and debit card partnerships with banks, including TD Bank.

The company 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 processed $1.347 trillion in purchases on its network in the quarter, up 10.2 percent 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, up from $3.52 billion a year earlier.

The company also announced it was increasing its stock buyback program by $5 billion to a total stock buyback program of $7.3 billion.

Visa shares were down slightly in after-market trading to $79.09.

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