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Mastercard First-Quarter Profit Tops Forecasts

The coronavirus pandemic hurt Mastercard's profit, but the credit-processing company sees "early signs of spending levels stabilizing."
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Shares of Mastercard  (MA) - Get Mastercard Incorporated Report rose after the credit-processing titan reported first-quarter earnings that exceeded expectations.

Adjusted earnings per share totaled $1.83 in the quarter, up from $1.78 a year earlier and above analysts’ average forecast of $1.72, according to FactSet.

Revenue registered $4 billion in the latest quarter, up 3% from $3.9 billion a year earlier and above analysts’ prediction of $3.96 billion.

GAAP net income totaled $1.7 billion in the latest quarter, or $1.68 a share, down from $1.9 billion, or $1.80, a year earlier.

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The coronavirus pandemic, which has crimped global spending, didn’t help matters. “Covid-19 has made this a very trying time for everyone,” Mastercard Chief Executive Ajay Banga said in a statement.

But he sees light at the end of the tunnel. “Although there will be twists in the road, we have seen early signs of spending levels stabilizing and are confident that we will emerge from this even stronger.”

Mastercard has “expanded our pledge to bring a total of 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025,” Banga said.

“In addition, whether it's through the investment we made in the Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator with the Gates Foundation and Wellcome, joining forces with OnwardUS to help displaced workers, or our commitment to provide $250 million in financial, technology and product support to small businesses, we are working to do our part."

Mastercard shares stood at $275 at last check, up 3.9%. They have dropped 17% over the past three months. That compares with a 13% slide for the S&P 500.