Visa Earnings Call Nuggets: Incentive Guidance and Pricing Aspects

Visa (NYSE:V) recently reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Incentive Guidance

Moshe Orenbuch – Credit Suisse: I think the revenue performance, obviously very strong. Just wondering if you could talk about how you see that progressing, obviously, it sounded the incentives that you were talking about was lower incentives in the current period. So, can we take away from that that you’re actually seeing a better combination if you will of volume coming out of debit, and some of the pricing actions that you’ve taken?

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Byron H. Pollitt – CFO: So let me respond to that. First, just to be clear on the incentive piece. A large contributor to the reduction in the incentive guidance going forward and to a certain extent this quarter – when we signed the Chase agreement it restructured how we price, so that as I said in my opening remarks gross fees are coming down along with incentives and it’s largely an offset. So while incentives for the balance of the year are expected to come in in that 16% to 17% range that in on of itself is not a significant contributor to the revenue performance for the balance of the year because we haven’t changed our overall revenue guidance. So, we are well positioned within the low double-digit range. And what we’re seeing underlying that is strong, sustained performance globally. And with two quarters now under our belt and because of our quarter lag, remember that we actually have visibility to three quarters of service revenue. We have a much higher degree of certainty of how the year will flow out. Given the strength we are seeing outside the U.S. good sustained recovery in our U.S. debit business as you pointed out, and particularly as we enter into the April-May-June quarter this will anniversary the Dodd-Frank routing rules, notice I said Dodd-Frank, not Durbin. While debit business in the U.S. has sustained a meaningful loss, particularly in the Interlink, we are pleased with the way that the business – our mitigating strategies have unfolded and the way the business has been recovering over the past several quarters.

Pricing Aspects

Craig Maurer – CLSA: I was wondering if you could address any material pricing differences between Visa, Inc. and Visa Europe that would have to be overcome should the put be exercised. Although I know it doesn’t materially impact your top-line, I was wondering if you could just clarify what’s going on with the cash volumes in Latin America that seem to be off-dramatically?

Byron H. Pollitt – CFO: The pricing approach that Visa Europe pursues is one that still very much based on a bank-owned membership arrangement and so it’s different than what we have here in the United States or for Visa, Inc. globally outside of Europe. Having said that, Visa Europe still must price to be competitive with other competitors like MasterCard in that arena, and so we’ve not done a detailed analysis of what the comparisons are, but there is a presumption that to be competitive you have to price competitively. We consider Visa Europe very competitive in that part of the world. So, don’t really have a comment on that. With regards to the cash volumes in Latin America, don’t have a comment on that either, and so we’ll – that’s one – we’ll have to take a look into and we’d be happy to get back to you through IR.

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Charles W. Scharf – CEO: Let me just add to Byron’s response on Visa Europe. As I said in the remarks, there is a very defined process that we would go through with Visa Europe where we look at the sustainable earnings power of the company, and I would presume a big part of that discussion would be what the sustainable revenue contribution would be as the model evolves, and there is plenty of time through that process to have that discussion with them, if we get to the point.

A Closer Look: Visa Earnings Cheat Sheet>>