Visa Inc (NYSE:V) released the earnings results from its fourth fiscal quarter tonight after closing bell, posting fourth quarter adjusted income of $2.18 per share, a 17% increase year over year, on $3.2 billion in revenue, a 9% increase year over year. Analysts had been looking for fourth quarter earnings of $2.10 per share on $3.19 billion in revenue. That’s compared to earnings of $1.85 per share on $3 billion in revenue in last year’s fourth quarter.

Visa Inc Beats Earnings Estimates

Visa’s fourth quarter

GAAP fourth quarter net income was $1.72 per share, which includes special items and is a decline of 7% year over year. The special item was defined as “amounts covered by the retrospective responsibility plan of $450 million and related tax benefit.”

Payments volume growth for the June quarter rose 12% year over year to $1.2 trillion. Service revenue for the fourth quarter is recognized based on the payments volume for the June quarter. Payments volume for the September quarter grew by 11% year over year to $1.2 trillion.

Visa recorded a 10% increase in cross-border volume growth for the September quarter. The number of total processed transactions for the September quarter rose 9% to 16.9 billion. Service revenues rose 8% to $1.5 billion.

Visa’s full year earnings

Adjusted full year earnings were $9.07 per share, a 19% year over year increase. GAAP earnings for the full year were $8.62, a 14% year over year increase. GAAP net operating revenue for the full year rose 8% year over year to $12.7 billion.

Service revenues for the full fiscal year rose 8% year over year to $5.8 billion. Data processing revenues increased 11% to $5.2 billion. International transaction revenues increased 5% to $3.6 billion. Other revenues rose 7% to $770 million for the full year.

The number of total processed transactions for the 12 months ending Sept. 30 rose 11% year over year to 64.9 billion.

Visa authorizes more repurchases

Today the credit card services company’s board also authorized a new $5 billion share buyback program. That’s in addition to the 20% quarterly dividend increase Visa had already announced.

During the fourth quarter, Visa reduced the number of class A common shares by 5.7 million shares using $1.2 billion from its operating cash on hand. The company repurchased 3.6  million shares in the open market for $756 million for an average price of $211.19. Visa deposited $450 million from its operating cash into the litigation escrow account in connection with the pending litigation.

Visa guides for 2015

For the full 2015 fiscal year, Visa expects constant dollar revenue to grow in the low double digits. The credit card processor expects annual diluted common share earnings to grow in the mid teams. Visa projects more than $6 billion in annual free cash flow.