Visa 1Q profits rise 6%, new CEO to take over Feb. 1

FILE - This Aug. 11, 2019, photo shows a Visa logo on a credit card in New Orleans. Visa Inc. reports earnings on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

NEW YORK (AP) — Payment processing giant Visa Inc. said Thursday that its profits rose 6% in its latest quarter from a year earlier, helped by the continued rise of digital payments across the globe.

The company also said its current CEO, Al Kelly, will step down on Wednesday. He will be replaced by his second-in-command, Ryan McInerney.

The San Francisco-based company said it earned $4.18 billion, excluding a handful of one-time items, or $2.18 a share, in the three-month period that ended Dec. 31. That's compared to a profit of $3.96 billion in the same period a year ago. Visa's results beat analysts' expectations, according to FactSet.

For several years, Visa has benefited from the broad adoption of credit and debit card transactions across the world as well as in places that typically were cash only, such as coffee houses or bars.

Payments volume — the amount of money spent on Visa's network — started rising even faster after the coronavirus pandemic, which led to even broader adoption of digital payments. That was good for Visa's bottom line because the company earns a fee off every transaction processed on its network.

Consumers and businesses spent $3.014 trillion on Visa's network in the last three months of 2022, up 7% from a year earlier. The number of processed transactions on the company's network was up 10% from a year earlier.

In late November, Visa named McInerney as its new CEO, with Kelly taking the role of executive chairman. Kelly had been CEO of Visa since 2016, previously a long-time executive at American Express.

McInerney, 47, had been in current role since 2013.