Total operating expenses increased 5%, to $854 million in the third quarter of 2012. Adjusted for currency, operating expenses increased 8%. The increase in total operating expenses was primarily driven by higher personnel costs related to strategic initiatives.
Operating income for the third quarter of 2012 increased 6% over the year-ago period, and the company delivered an operating margin of 55.5%.
MasterCard reported other income of $2 million in the third quarter of 2012 versus other income of $28 million in the third quarter of 2011. The decrease was primarily driven by lower realized gains on sales of investments, an adjustment to acquisition-related provisions in last year’s third quarter and increased expenses from investments in joint ventures.
The effective tax rate was 27.6% in the third quarter of 2012, versus a rate of 30.5% in the comparable period in 2011. The decrease was primarily due to a discrete benefit related to additional export incentives and a benefit from a deduction related to the Company’s authorization software.
During the third quarter of 2012, MasterCard repurchased approximately 500,000 shares of Class A common stock at a cost of $216 million. Quarter-to-date through October 25, the company repurchased approximately 255,000 additional shares at a cost of approximately $119 million, with $1.1 billion remaining under the most recent $1.5 billion repurchase program authorization.
Year-to-Date 2012 Results
For the nine months ended September 30, 2012, MasterCard reported net income of $2.2 billion, or $17.18 per diluted share, excluding a special item taken in the second quarter for an incremental $13 million after-tax charge related to the U.S. merchant litigations. Including the special item, diluted earnings per share was $17.07.
Net revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 was $5.5 billion, an increase of 10% versus the same period in 2011, or 14% adjusted for currency. Gross dollar volume growth of 16%, transaction processing growth of 27% and cross-border volume growth of 16% contributed to the net revenue growth in the year-to-date period. These factors were partially offset by an increase in rebates and incentives, primarily due to new and renewed customer agreements and increased volumes.