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Visa's (V) Q1 Earnings Surpass Estimates on Revenue Growth

Zacks Equity Research

Visa Inc. V reported first-quarter fiscal 2019 (ended Sep 30, 2019) earnings of $1.30 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4%. Also, the bottom line improved 21% year over year.

The results were driven by growth in payments volume, cross-border volume and processed transactions, and a lower tax rate.

Net operating revenues of $5.5 billion beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2% and were up 13% year over year. This upside was primarily driven by an increase in all the components of net revenues such as service, data processing, international transaction revenues and others. However, increase in client incentives, which constitute a contra revenue item, acted as a partial dampener to revenue growth.

Visa Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Visa Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Visa Inc. Quote

Strong Financial Performance

On a constant-dollar basis, payments volume growth in the fiscal first quarter improved 11%, year over year. Cross-border volume growth, on a constant-dollar basis, was 7%. Visa's processed transactions increased 11% from the prior-year quarter to 33.9 billion.

Service revenues increased 9% year over year to $2.3 billion on higher nominal payments volume recognized on payments volume in the year-ago quarter, which grew 12%.

Notably, other revenue components are based on the reported quarter’s activity. Data processing revenues increased 15% on a year-over-year basis to $2.5 billion and international transaction revenues grew 11% to $1.9 billion. Other revenues increased 30% year over year to $299 million.
Client incentives of $1.50 billion increased 10% year over year.

Adjusted operating expenses increased 17% year over year to $1.8 billion, primarily due to personnel expense and marketing costs. Interest expense decreased 5.8% year over year to $145 million.

Exchange rate shifts versus the prior year negatively impacted earnings per share growth by approximately 0.5% in the fiscal first quarter. Exchange rate shifts from the prior year negatively impacted earnings per share growth by approximately 0.5%

Balance Sheet Strengthens

Cash, cash equivalents and available-for-sale investment securities were $15.9 billion as of Dec 31, 2018, up 37% sequentially.

Total assets were $71.7 billion as of Dec 31, 2018, up 3.5% sequentially.

Share Repurchase and Dividend Update

During the quarter, the company repurchased shares worth $2.3 billion. The board of directors paid a quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share.

2019 Guidance Affirmed

Visa reiterated its guidance for 2019. Annual net revenues are expected to grow in low-double digits on a nominal basis, with approximately 1% of negative foreign currency impact and minimum impact from the new revenue accounting standard. Client incentives, as a percentage of gross revenues, are projected in the range of 22-23%; annual adjusted operating expense is expected to increase in mid-to-high single digits; and effective tax rate is estimated at 20.0-20.5%.

The company reiterated annual class A common stock earnings per share growth in high teens on a GAAP nominal dollar basis and in mid teens on an adjusted, non-GAAP nominal dollar basis. Both these estimates include approximately 1% of negative foreign currency impact.  

Our Take

Visa remains well positioned for future growth on the back of its solid market position, increase in payment volumes, accretive acquisitions and significant opportunities owing to its secular shift toward electronic payments. Its strong balance sheet position, vast payment network and shift of to digital form of payments offer significant long-term growth potential.

Zacks Rank

Visa currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Total System Services, Inc. TSS is another company in the same space that beat on earnings by 1.9% in the October-December 2018 quarter.

Other stocks that are poised to beat earnings in the October-December quarter include First Data Corp. FDC and Virtu Financial Inc. VIRT.

Data Corp currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 and has an Earnings ESP of +3.17%.

Virtu Financial has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and an Earnings ESP of +23.40%.

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