Improvement in the credit performance of the Discover card portfolio helped Discover Financial Services generate net income of $349.6 million for the fiscal fourth quarter ended Nov. 30, down just 0.8% from the same period last year.

Its net revenue rose 1.3%, to $1.6 billion.

Revenue in last year's fourth quarter included $285 million from Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. related to settlement payments stemming from an antitrust dispute.

Discover's U.S. card-sales volume rose 5.9% to $23.2 billion for the quarter from a year earlier.

Credit card loan receivables decreased 4.8% to $45.2 billion while total loan receivables were down 4.1%, to $48.8 billion.

The net principal credit card charge-off rate decreased 186 basis points, to 6.95% from 8.81%.

The 30 day-plus credit card delinquency rate for the quarter was 4.06%, down 154 basis points from 5.6%. The 90 day-plus credit card delinquency rate was 2.12%, down 82 basis points from 2.94%.

Total third-party issuer sales volume increased 16.4%, to $1.77 billion. Diners Club International sales volume totaled rose 2.2% to $7.33 billion.

Discover's proprietary network sales volume rose 6.2% to $24.1 billion. Discover network transactions processed rose 6.5% to 412.6 million.

Sales volume for Discover's Pulse PIN-debit network rose 26.7%, to $31.3 billion from a year earlier. Total transactions processed on the Pulse network rose 33.2%, to 901.2 million.

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