Will shares of Visa Inc. (V) finally take a breather after earnings results? Ahead of Visa's second quarter earnings results due after the closing bell Thursday, the credit card issuer has had a good run. But how much more room is there for the stock - now trading at near all-time highs - to run?

Investors, who've enjoyed 15% gains in the past three months, including a 10% rise in the past thirty days, are hoping the company's results will fuel more gains. And with better-than-expected earnings results just released from rival American Express Company (AXP), which cited higher income from interest and fees, Visa looks poised for not only a strong quarter, but a solid outlook. But will the stock react favorably?

Expectations for The Quarter

For the quarter that ended in March, Wall Street expects Visa to deliver earnings-per-share of 67 cents on revenue of $3.60 billion compared to the year-ago quarter when the company earned 63 cents per share on revenue of $3.41 billion. For the full year, ending in December, earnings are projected to rise 6.87% year-over-year to $2.80 per share, while revenue of $14.92 billion would mark a 7.5% increase from the year-ago period. (See also: Visa and MasterCard May Be Headed Higher ,)

Even with the solid projected mid-single digit increase in earnings and revenue, it's likely that Visa shares - despite their stellar performance - may be discounted. Visa recently agreed to buy Visa Europe for $23.4 billion, a business that continues to perform well and is also increasing the company's exposure internationally. (See also: Visa to Acquire Visa Europe for 21.2 Billion Euros

In its first quarter the company reported a GAAP net income of $1.9 billion, or $0.80 per share, surpassing Street estimates. The company also had a net operating revenue of $3.6 billion for the quarter. What's more, effective in June, Visa is replacing American Express on Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) credit cards. And combined with the launch of Visa's new mobile payment partnerships, platforms and support for digital wallets and wearables, Visa investors have plenty of potential growth catalysts to look forward to.

The Bottom Line

Visa stock closed Wednesday at $81.15, up 2.28%. The shares - up 4.64% year-to-date - have surged about 27% over the past year, besting the 2.86% year-to-date rise in the S&P 500 (SPX) index. Visa stock has a consensus buy hold rating and an average analyst 12-month price target of $86, implying about 6% rise from Wednesday's close.

Want to learn how to invest?

Get a free 10 week email series that will teach you how to start investing.

Delivered twice a week, straight to your inbox.