Visa shares gained 1.4% in after-hours trading Thursday after the financial-technology powerhouse topped earnings and revenue expectations for its latest quarter. “The pulse of the consumer is normal and healthy and very stable,” Chief Financial Officer Vasant Prabhu told MarketWatch. Looking globally, people spent 46% more in the December quarter than they did in the comparable period in 2019, Visa said on its earnings call.
That comes even as consumers continue to show a shift in spending preference to services and away from goods as they can leave their homes more. Payments volume rose 7% in the fiscal first quarter on a constant-currency basis, while processed transactions increased 10%. Visa
saw 22% growth in cross-border volume, or 31% growth when excluding transactions within Europe. Outgoing Chief Executive Al Kelly, who will step down from his role at the start of February, noted that the company benefited from a “continued cross-border travelrecovery.” Prabhu said there’s “still recovery in travel left.” Travel to the U.S. has not gotten back to 2019 levels, he noted, as the strong dollar has an impact. China, meanwhile, is just reopening. Airlines are “still adding capacity” and running quite full, more evidence that the travel rebound still has legs, in his view. He noted on the earnings call that while China’s reopening presents an opportunity, it will take time for ticket prices to come down, consumers to get passports and visas, and flight capacity to increase. “We expect most of the Mainland China travel recovery in the se …