MasterCard Earnings Report: Top That, Visa!

MasterCard (NYSE:MA) reported a 21 percent rise in quarterly profit as consumers spent more with their cards and revenue rose faster than expenses.

According to the world’s second-largest credit and debit card network, cardholders made $629 billion of purchases worldwide during the January through March quarter, up 17 percent from a year earlier. Card payments outside the United States grew 20.6 percent, based on local currencies, compared with 14 percent growth in the United States.

MasterCard saw the fastest rate of growth since the company went public in 2006, with the number of transactions processed increasing 29 percent to 7.7 billion. The increase was attributed to a growing movement of consumers worldwide making payments electronically instead of with paper currency.

Net income was $682 million, or $5.36 a share, compared with $562 million, or $4.29 a share, a year earlier. According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, analysts on average had expected $5.30 a share.  By adjusting for an acquisition, net revenue grew faster than expenses, climbing 16 percent, while operating expenses increased 9 percent.

Visa (NYSE:V) — MasterCard’s largest rival in card payment processing networks — is scheduled to report its quarterly results following the close of New York Stock Exchange trading this afternoon.