Visa Announces 20% Jump in Income, $5 Billion in Share Repurchases

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Visa announced earnings today for the fourth quarter of its fiscal year 2013 of $1.85 per share, or $1.2 billion, an increase of 20% and 15% over the same period's adjusted results in 2012. The company also announced that it authorized $5.0 billion in a new share repurchase program in addition to its previously announced 21% increase in its quarterly dividend.

 Visa had a full-year net income of $5 billion, or $7.59 per share, which were up 18% and 23%, respectively, over its adjusted full-year 2012 results (which included a onetime litigation charge). Visa's revenues were up across its business segments, and its total operating revenues rose by 13%, driven by strong gains in its service (10%), data processing (17%), and international transactions revenues (12%), which are its three largest revenue segments.

Revenue at Visa in the fourth quarter stood at $2.9 billion, up 8% over the same period last year. While its business segments all saw revenue improvements greater than 10%, revenue was only up 8% due to an increase in client incentives, which are a contra-revenue item, which grew from $563 million to $680 million, a gain of more than 20%.

Visa also announced that it repurchased 7 million shares in the fourth quarter of its common stock, for a total of $1.3 billion at an average price of approximately $117.50 per share. For the fiscal year 2013, Visa repurchased a total of 33 million shares at an average price of $161.94 per share, for a total of $5.4 billion in share repurchases. As previously mentioned, the board of directors also authorized an additional $5 billion in share repurchases.

"Visa delivered strong financial performance during the fourth quarter and full year across our global businesses, a reflection of solid revenue and transaction growth," said CEO Charlie Scharf. "We continued investing in high growth regions of the world, in products and technology to drive our performance, while maintaining disciplined expense control."

Scharf added, "We also have been consistent and decisive in returning excess cash to shareholders and maintain this commitment. Both the increase in our quarterly dividend payment by 21% to $0.40 per share and our new $5 billion share repurchase authorization reflects this and our continued confidence in our ability to grow our business over the long term globally."

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