(By Mani) Mastercard, Inc. (NYSE: MA) posted better-than-expected quarterly profit on strong growth in card payments,sending its shares up 4 percent in the pre-market hours.
For the fourth quarter ended Dec.31, Mastercard earned $605 million, or $4.86 a share, compared to $19 million, or 15 cents a share, last year when it took a $770 million litigation charge. Wall Street expected earnings of $4.81 a share, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Quarterly net revenue rose 10 percent to $1.9 billion. Adjusted for currency, net revenue increased 12 percent. Street projected revenue of $1.89 billion.
New York-based payment processing firm recorded an increase in processed transactions of 20 percent to 9.2 billion, with cross-border volumes edging up 17 percent. Gross dollar volume, on a local currency basis, rose 14 percent to $986 billion.
Worldwide purchase volume during the quarter was up 13 percent on a local currency basis $727 billion. As of Dec.31, 2012, the company's customers had issued 1.9 billion MasterCard and Maestro-branded cards.
"We are gaining traction in our U.S. credit business with some recent wins, continuing to experience momentum in our mobile initiatives around the world, and securing important business in emerging markets like Africa and Brazil," Ajay Banga, MasterCard president and CEO, said in a statement.