Visa Inc. said earnings for its fiscal first quarter, which ended Dec. 31, rose 35% from a year earlier, but it acknowledged concerns about the economy by cutting some forecasts.

The San Francisco company said Wednesday after the market closed it made $574 million, or 74 cents a share. After adjusting for litigation and restructuring costs, Visa earned $599 million, or 78 cents a share.

Operating revenue grew 16.9%, to $1.74 billion. Payment volume, which Visa reports on a lagging basis, grew 12%, to $701 billion, in the quarter that ended Sept. 30.

Visa said it now expects to report revenue growth in the "high single digits" for this year, instead of at "the lower end" of a range of 11%-15%, the target it had reaffirmed in December. It also said Wednesday that it still expected to meet the higher target in 2010, and it expects to hit other targets, though "annual net revenue growth may be somewhat challenged in 2010 if the current economic environment … persists beyond 2009."

"We remain steadfast in our ability to meet our 2009 EPS guidance," Joseph Saunders, Visa's chairman and chief executive, said in a press release.

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