Visa posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings Wednesday as the credit card network increased prices and cut expenses. The company also benefited as consumers used debit cards more. Net income rose 70 percent, to $536 million, or 71 cents a share, for the second quarter ended March 31, compared with $314 million, or 39 cents a share, for the period a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, quarterly net income rose 38 percent, to $553 million, or 73 cents a share. Analysts had expected earnings of 64 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates. Net operating revenue rose 13 percent, to $1.6 billion, while total processed transactions — which represent transactions processed by VisaNet — increased 6 percent, to 9.4 billion.
Visa is partly insulated from rising defaults because they only process transactions and allow banks to take the risk of extending credit to cardholders. Even so, the company has seen a slowdown in the growth of revenue and transaction volumes as consumers used their credit cards less.