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Visa 2Q profits up 3.6%, helped by more spending on network

FILE - This Aug. 11, 2019, file photo shows a Visa logo on a credit card in New Orleans. Visa said Thursday, April 30, 2020, that its fiscal second-quarter profits increased 3.6% from a year earlier, helped by growth in payments being processed over the company's namesake network. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)
FILE - This Aug. 11, 2019, file photo shows a Visa logo on a credit card in New Orleans. Visa said Thursday, April 30, 2020, that its fiscal second-quarter profits increased 3.6% from a year earlier, helped by growth in payments being processed over the company's namesake network. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Visa said Thursday that its fiscal second-quarter profits increased 3.6% from a year earlier, helped by growth in payments being processed over the company's namesake network.

The San Francisco-based company reported net income of $3.08 billion, or $1.38 per share, in the three months ended March 31. That compares with a profit of $2.98 billion, or $1.31 per share, in the same period last year.

Excluding one-time items, including acquisition costs and the impact of equity investments, Visa earned $1.39 a share, or 5 cents more than the consensus analyst forecast, according to FactSet.

Revenue increased 7% to $5.9 billion, topping analysts' estimates for $5.7 billion.

Visa said its payments volume increased 5% during the quarter, while its cross-border bank transfers fell 2%. Processed transactions climbed 7%. The company earns a small fee for every transaction on its network.

Beginning in February, the COVID-19 pandemic initially affected transactions over Visa's network in Asia. By the latter part of March, however, as the outbreak spread globally and governments imposed social distancing and shutdowns of nonessential businesses, transaction and payments volumes sharply declined, the company said.

In a statement, CEO Alfred Kelly said the company's business model is resilient, but warned “the road ahead will likely be challenging for a number of quarters."

Like other companies, Visa declined to provide a full-year earnings outlook, citing the “significant uncertainty” in the global economy due to COVID-19.

Visa has been on an acquisition streak the last few years and that continued in its second quarter. In January, the company agreed to buy financial technology company Plaid for $5.3 billion. The move bolsters Visa's access to money transfer systems outside of credit and debit cards, enabling it to profit from connecting consumers' bank accounts to financial services apps like Venmo and PayPal.

Visa shares were little changed in after-market trading following the release of the earnings report.