Visa Inc. (V) topped market estimates on earnings for the fourth quarter of 2018 while revenues came in line with expectations. The stock was up 2.12% in aftermarket hours.
Net operating revenues rose 12% to $5.4 billion, driven by continued growth in payments volume, cross-border volume and processed transactions. On a GAAP basis, net income grew by more than 30% to $2.8 billion or $1.23 per share from the prior-year period. Adjusted EPS grew 34% to $1.21.
Visa saw double-digit growth in key business metrics such as payments volume, cross-border volume and processed transactions during the quarter. The company also posted increases across all its revenue categories.
Service revenues for the fourth quarter increased 10% year-over-year to $2.3 billion. These are recognized based on payments volume in the prior quarter. Client incentives totaled $1.5 billion in the quarter.
Visa is investing in strategic partnerships to accelerate digital payments growth and to increase the security for digital transactions. The company is also preparing to launch the B2B Connect platform in the first quarter of 2019. B2B Connect intends to provide financial institutions with a secure way to conduct cross-border business-to-business payments.
For the full year of 2019, net revenue is expected to grow in the low double-digits on a nominal basis, with approx. 1% of negative foreign currency impact. Annual diluted class A common stock EPS is expected to grow in the high teens on a GAAP nominal dollar basis and mid-teens on an adjusted, non-GAAP nominal dollar basis.
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