Visa (V)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

October 26, 2011 5:00 pm ET


Joseph W. Saunders - Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Byron H. Pollitt - Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer

Jack Carsky - Global Head of Investor Relations


Moshe Katri - Cowen and Company, LLC, Research Division

Bryan Keane - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Glenn Greene - Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., Research Division

Julio C. Quinteros - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Rod Bourgeois - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC., Research Division

Daniel R. Perlin - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Moshe Orenbuch - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Jason Kupferberg - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Tien-Tsin T Huang - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

David Togut - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division

Darrin D. Peller - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Glenn Fodor - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Robert P. Napoli - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division



Welcome to Visa, Inc.'s Fiscal Q4 2011 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Today's conference is being recorded. if you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time. I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Mr. Jack Carsky, Head of Global Investor Relations. Mr. Carsky, you may begin.

Jack Carsky

Thank you very much. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to Visa, Inc.'s fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2011 earnings conference call. With us today are Joe Saunders, Visa's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Byron Pollitt, Visa's Chief Financial Officer.

This call is currently being webcast over the Internet. It can be accessed on the Investor Relations section of our website at A replay of the webcast will also be archived on our site for 30 days. A PowerPoint deck containing highlights of today's commentary was posted to our website prior to this call.

Let me also remind you that this presentation may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. By their nature, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and as a result of a variety of factors, actual results could differ materially from such statements. These include setbacks from the global economy and the impact of new financial reform regulations.

Additional information concerning those factors is available on our last 10-K on file with the SEC. It can be accessed through the SEC website in the Investor Relations section of our website. For historical non-GAAP but pro forma-related financial information disclosed on this call, related GAAP measures and other information required by Regulation G of the SEC are available in the financial and statistical summary accompanying today's earnings press release. This release can also be accessed through the Investor Relations section of our website. With that, I'll turn the call over to Joe.

Joseph W. Saunders

Thanks, Jack. And as always, thank you, all, for joining us today. Visa closed out fiscal 2011 with a solid fourth quarter delivering net operating revenues of $2.4 billion on a 13% increase over the same period last year.

Diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter were $1.27, an increase of 34% on an adjusted basis. As a reminder, our adjusted figures exclude the revaluation of the Visa Europe put option in the prior year.

Revenue gains for the quarter were driven by strong payments volume growth around the globe, strong cross-border activity and continued recovery in credit spent worldwide. Net operating revenue growth for the quarter was impacted in part by a strategic decision to increase client incentives, as Visa aggressively pursued routing decisions from U.S. merchants and acquirers. These deals, most of which are onetime in nature, were the primary reason we modestly exceeded our annual incentive guidance of 16.5%.

Visa also delivered strong performance for the full fiscal year. Net operating revenue was a record $9.2 billion, a 14% increase over 2010. Adjusted net income for the full year was $3.5 billion, a 22% increase over the prior year. full year adjusted diluted earnings per share came in at $4.99, 28% add of last year.

While Byron will get into more specifics on fiscal 2012, we are continuing to commit to our guidance provided in July of high-single to low double-digit revenue growth and mid to high-teens earnings per share growth. This takes into account only modest of global economic growth as well as anticipated industry reaction to the debit regulation.

Given our outlook for continued growth, we continued to deliver on our commitment to return excess cash back to shareholders. During the quarter, Visa repurchased $423 million worth of our stock at an average price of $80.87. Last week, our Board of Directors authorized an additional $1 billion, bringing our current repurchase authorization to almost $1.6 billion. And as reported last week, our board raised our dividend 47% over last year's rate at $0.88 per share on an annualized basis.

Visa is fundamentally committed to driving growth by expanding our core debit, credit, prepaid and commercial businesses, which offer tremendous potential to deliver near-term and long-term revenue growth and to deliver greater value to our financial institution and merchant clients. The goal is to grow the number of users, acceptance locations and ways to use Visa products.

All of our priorities and investments focus on expanding that core well into the future. This includes applying both the businesses we've recently acquired, which are generating revenue growth today as discrete entities, as well as the innovative technologies we're developing in-house.

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