Visa shares soar more than 30 percent in stock market debut

SAN FRANCISCO Investors are grabbing up a piece of the largest initial public offering in U.S. history.

In early trading, the shares had climbed to $58 from their IPO price of $44, trading under the stock symbol "V".

The world's largest processor of credit and debit cards is seen as well positioned to profit as more people rely on its electronic network to make payments instead of cash and checks.

In the weeks leading up to the IPO, Visa's management pledged 20 percent earnings growth for at least the next two years.

Visa also has been able to entice consumers to use its credit and debit cards more frequently to pay for staples like groceries, gas and even utility bills.

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