Visa 4Q profits up 6%, helped by more spending on network

NEW YORK — Visa said Thursday that its fiscal fourth-quarter profits rose by 6% from a year ago, helped by the steady rise of payments being processed over the company’s namesake network.

The San Francisco-based company said it earned $3.03 billion, or $1.34 per share, compared with a profit $2.85 billion, or $1.23 per share, in the same period a year earlier. Excluding one-time items including some legal expenses, Visa earned $1.47 a share, 4 cents more than what analysts were looking for.

Consumers and businesses spent $2.267 trillion on Visa’s network last quarter, up roughly 9% from a year earlier. Visa earns a small fee for every transaction on its network.

Visa has been on an acquisition streak the last few years. It purchased Visa Europe for $23.4 billion in 2016 and did four smaller acquisitions just this year to expand into other parts of the payments industry, including cross-border bank transfers and other technologies.

For the full year, Visa said it earned a profit of $12.08 billion, compared with a profit of $10.3 billion a year earlier.

Ken Sweet, The Associated Press