Excluding the special item, operating expenses increased 8%, to $2.4 billion, for the nine months ended September 30, 2012, primarily due to higher personnel costs related to strategic initiatives. Excluding currency fluctuations and the special item, total operating expenses increased 10%. Including the special item in the second quarter, total operating expenses increased 9%.

Excluding the special item, operating income increased 12% for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 versus the same period in 2011, delivering an operating margin of 55.6%.

MasterCard reported no other income/expense for the nine months ended September 30, 2012, versus other income of $35 million in the same period last year. This decrease was primarily driven by lower realized gains on sales of investments, increased expenses from investments in joint ventures and an adjustment to acquisition-related provisions made in last year’s third quarter.

MasterCard’s effective tax rate was 29.1% in the nine months ended September 30, 2012, including the special item, compared to a rate of 31.6% in the comparable period in 2011. The decrease was primarily due to discrete benefits related to additional export incentives and the conclusion of tax examinations in certain jurisdictions.

Third-Quarter Financial Results Conference Call Details

At 10:00 a.m. ET today, the company will host a conference call to discuss its third-quarter results. The dial-in information for this call is 888-771-4371 (within the U.S.) and 847-585-4405 (outside the U.S.) and the passcode is 33358414. A replay of the call will be available for one week following the meeting. The replay can be accessed by dialing 888-843-7419 (within the U.S.) and 630-652-3042 (outside the U.S.) and using passcode 33358414.

The live call and the replay, along with supporting materials, can also be accessed through the Investor Relations section of the company’s website at mastercard.com.

Non-GAAP Financial Information

The company’s total operating expenses, operating income, net income and earnings per share, excluding the special item, are non-GAAP financial measures that are reconciled to their most directly comparable GAAP measures in the accompanying financial tables. Presentation of growth rates adjusted for currency also represents a non-GAAP measure.

If you liked this article you might like

Sneaky Rally; Wells Fargo Needs Outside Help -- Jim Cramer's Top Thoughts

Cramer: Fantasy Shmantasy -- Let's Get Real With These Stock Picks

Visa, MasterCard, Discover Offer Secured Credit Cards, a Tool for College Kids

PayPal Launches 2% Cash Back Credit Card

Cramer: Good News Stirs a Sneaky Rally