Profits for the top four networks rose 20.1% year-on-year (YOY) in the fourth quarter (4Q/15). Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover reported a combined 4Q/15 profit of $4130 million, compared to $3895 million for 3Q/15 and $3439 for 4Q/15.
Visa and Discover profits jumped 24% YOY in 4Q/15, compared to 20% for American Express and 11% for MasterCard.
Visa’s 4Q/15 net income jumped 24% YOY to $1.9 billion. Excluding the Visa Europe put option, 4Q/15 profits rose 7% to $1.7 billion.
Visa’s net operating revenue was $3.6 billion, an increase of 5% nominally or 8% currency adjusted (FX). Service revenues were $1.6 billion, an increase of 7% YOY. Data processing revenues rose 7% YOY to $1.5 billion. International transaction revenues grew 6% YOY to $1.0 billion. Total operating expenses were $1.2 billion for the quarter, a 2% increase.
MasterCard’s 4Q/15 profits rose 11.0% YOY, or up 18% FX to $977 million.
Net revenue for the quarter was $2.5 billion, a 4% increase YOY, or 9% FX.
Total operating expenses increased 1%, or 4% FX YOY. Operating income for 4Q/15 increased 9%, or 17% FX YOY. The company delivered an operating margin of 44.0%. MasterCard reported other expense of $82 million in 4Q/15 versus $11 million in 4Q/14.
American Express’ 4Q/15 U.S. credit card profits rose 20.0% YOY to $794 million.
AmEx total revenues net of interest expense for U.S. Card Services increased 5% to $4.8 billion, from $4.6 billion a year ago. The rise reflected higher net interest income from growth in the loan portfolio, as well as an increase in net card fees and cardholder spending. Provisions for losses totaled $440 million, up 10% from $399 million a year ago.
Total expenses were flat at $3.1 billion compared to a year ago. The current quarter reflected higher Card Member services costs and investment spending that was maintained at an elevated level.
Discover’s 4Q/15 profits rose 23.8% YOY to $500 million.
Discover’s Payment Services pretax income was $21 million in the quarter, up $19 million from the prior year. Payment Services transaction dollar volume was $45.9 billion, down 10% YOY. PULSE transaction dollar volume was down 14% YOY due to the loss of volume from a large debit issuer. Network Partners volume was up $1.0 billion, or 45%, YOY driven by AribaPay volume.
MAJOR 4 U.S. CARD NETWORK INCOME
4Q/14: $3439 million
1Q/15: $4090 million
2Q/15: $4147 million
3Q/15: $3895 million
4Q/15: $4130 million
VISA NET INCOME
4Q/14: $1569 million
1Q/15: $1550 million
2Q/15: $1697 million
3Q/15: $1512 million
4Q/15: $1941 million
MASTERCARD NET INCOME
4Q/14: $801 million
1Q/15: $1020 million
2Q/15: $965 million
3Q/15: $977 million
4Q/15: $890 million
AMERICAN EXPRESS U.S. CREDIT CARD NET INCOME
4Q/14: $665 million
1Q/15: $934 million
2Q/15: $886 million
3Q/15: $794 million
4Q/15: $799 million
DISCOVER NET INCOME
4Q/04: $404 million
1Q/05: $586 million
2Q/15: $599 million
3Q/15: $612 million
4Q/15: $500 million
Source: Visa; MasterCard; American Express; Discover
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