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Visa Inc.'s (V-N)) quarterly profit rose 24 percent, slightly beating estimates, as increasingly confident consumers spent more money on their credit and debit cards.
But the company's shares fell in after-hours trading, as Visa failed to beat expectations by the wide margins investors were once used to.
The world's largest card processing network Thursday reported net income of $881 million US, or $1.23 per share for its fiscal second quarter ended March 31. That compared to $713 million, or 96 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected Visa to earn $1.20 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company also said its board had authorized a $1 billion share buyback program, which will be in place through April 20, 2012.
Like smaller rival MasterCard Inc., which reported a better-than-expected profit on Tuesday, Visa is benefiting from a rebound in consumer confidence after the financial crisis. But it is facing the prospect of increased regulations from the U.S. Dodd-Frank financial reform law, which will restrict the fees merchants pay banks and networks every time a customer buys something with a debit card.