Visa card use up but 2Q profit slips nearly 2 pct.

LOS ANGELES – Visa Inc. said Wednesday that its net income slipped nearly 2 percent in the first three months of this year from the year before, when the company benefited from an adjustment to its income tax provision.

The payments processing company’s latest results still trumped Wall Street’s estimates, lifting its shares 2.4 percent higher in after-hours trading.

The company, based in Forest City, Calif., said Americans rang up $255 billion using Visa-branded credit cards, an increase of 9 percent from a year earlier. But debit card use was essentially flat.

Combined credit and debit card transactions worldwide in the quarter grew 4.2 percent to $1.61 trillion.

The growth in spending by cardholders echoed the results reported earlier in the day by rival MasterCard Inc.