Mastercard Doubles Fourth-Quarter Earnings, Beats Estimates

Mastercard shares are higher after the credit-card giant beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter earnings forecasts.
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Mastercard (MA) - Get Report shares were higher after the credit-card giant beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter earnings forecasts, more than doubling its profit from a year earlier.

The Purchase, N.Y., company earned $2.1 billion, or $2.07 a share, in the quarter, compared with $900 million, or 87 cents, in the year-earlier quarter. Adjusted earnings came to $1.96 a share, beating the $1.87 a share consensus forecast in a survey by FactSet. 

Revenue for the quarter totaled $4.4 billion, up 16% from a year earlier and matching Wall Street's projection.

The revenue increase was driven by several factors, including a 1-percentage-point boost from acquisitions. 

Growth in revenue also reflected a 12% increase in gross dollar volume to $1.7 trillion and a 16% increase in cross-border volume.

Also a key factor in the revenue increase: Mastercard's cyber and intelligence and data and services solutions.

Growth in the quarter was broadly based, "driven by solid execution of our strategy and leveraging our differentiated services offerings,” Ajay Banga, Mastercard president and CEO, said in a statement.

Operating expenses dropped to $2 billion from $2.6 billion a year earlier, while the operating margin widened to 54.4% from 32.4%.

As of Dec. 31, the company’s customers had issued 2.6 billion Mastercard and Maestro-branded cards.

At last check, Mastercard shares were 1% higher in the premarket. They closed the regular session on Tuesday up 1.4% at $320.27. Through Tuesday the shares were up 7.3% year to date.

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