Visa 4Q results climb 33 percent, beat estimates

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NEW YORK (AP) - Payment processing giant Visa Inc. said Wednesday that its fiscal fourth quarter profits rose by 33 percent from a year earlier, helped by a lower tax rate and more payments processed on its signature network.

The San Francisco-based company said Wednesday it earned a profit of $2.85 billion, or $1.23 a share, up from $2.14 billion, or 90 cents a share, from a year earlier. The results beat the expectations of analysts, who were looking for $1.20 per share, according to FactSet.

Visa processed $2.086 trillion on its payment network in the last quarter, up 11 percent from a year earlier. Visa earns a small fee from every transaction run on its network. Its payment volumes in the U.S., Visa's largest market, climbed 10.5 percent from a year earlier.

Like other large companies, Visa's profit was boosted by a lower tax bill because of the Republican-passed tax law. The company paid $693 million in income taxes in the quarter, down from $959 million in taxes in the same period last year. That's despite the company growing pre-tax profits by 14 percent from a year earlier.

Revenues for the quarter were $5.43 billion, up from $4.86 billion a year earlier. Analysts had been expecting revenue of $5.44 billion from Visa, according to FactSet.

Visa's stock rose about 2 percent in after-hours trading to $136.70 following the release of the earnings report.

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