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(Updates with CEO’s comment in the fourth paragraph.)
Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Visa Inc., the world’s biggest payment network, will raise its dividend 47 percent as profits advance and customers outside the U.S. use their cards more.
The payout will increase to 22 cents a share from 15 cents, the San Francisco-based company said today in a statement. Investors who own common stock as of Nov. 18 will be paid on Dec. 6.
Visa reported four straight profit increases as credit-card spending accelerated. Chief Executive Officer Joseph W. Saunders is buying back shares and looking to expand abroad as consumers shift away from cash and checks.
The board of directors, which authorized the dividend increase, is “demonstrating their ongoing confidence in the strength of the business,” Saunders said in the statement.
Visa announced dividend increases of 20 percent last year and 19 percent in 2009. With today’s action, the stock yields about 1 percent annually. Visa’s total return for 2011 including stock appreciation and dividends was 34 percent through yesterday. Visa gained 0.6 percent to $94.50 in early New York trading.
--Editors: Rick Green, William Ahearn
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