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Ahead of the Bell: Visa shares rise on 4Q results

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Visa rose in premarket trading Thursday, a day after it posted results for its fourth fiscal quarter that beat Wall Street expectations. The payment processing company's earnings were boosted by growth in Asia and other emerging markets.

San Francisco-based Visa said late Wednesday that it earned $1.7 billion, or $2.47 per share, in the fiscal fourth quarter that covered July through September. That was nearly double the $880 million, or $1.27 per share, that it earned in the same period a year ago.

After adjusting for one-time items, earnings were $1.54 per share. That beat the predictions of analysts polled by FactSet, who had expected $1.50 per share.

"We believe Visa will continue to grow on the strength of its international business," said Wedbush analyst Gil Luria in a note to clients. He raised his price target on Visa's stock to $145 from $140, and maintained its rating at "Neutral."

Analysts at William Blair reiterated their "Outperform" rating on Visa's stock and they said that they expect growth to continue.

And analysts at Jefferies kept their "Buy" rating on the stock.

Visa Inc.'s shares rose $2.74, or 2 percent, to $141.50 in premarket trading. Shares are near their all-time high of $143.10, which it reached on Oct. 18.