Visa beats expectations

VISA posted higher-than-expected quarterly earnings last night, as consumers used their debit cards more.<br /><br />Net income was $514m (&pound;314m), or 69 cents a share, for the fourth quarter ending 30 September, compared with a net loss of $356m last year.<br /><br />The world&rsquo;s largest payment network increased its quarterly dividend by 19 per cent and authorized a $1bn share repurchase plan. Visa is partly insulated from the credit crisis because it processes transactions instead of lending funds. <br /><br />But the company has seen a slowdown in the growth of revenue and transaction volumes as consumers use their credit cards less.<br /><br />&ldquo;We are beginning to see some very early signs of stabilisation in our business,&rdquo; said chief executive Joseph Saunders.<br /><br />Visa forecast capital expenditures of up to $250m for 2010, one-third less than in 2009.