MasterCard Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component MasterCard, Inc. (NYSE:MA) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, February 2, 2012. Mastercard is a multinational company whose principal business is to process payments and to provide related services to financial institutions and other customers. Its main services are in support of the credit, debit, prepaid, and related payment programs.

MasterCard, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $3.91 per share, a rise of 23.7% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $3.92. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has dropped from $3.96 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 32.2% versus last year to $18.58.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 82 cents, reporting net income of $5.63 per share against a mean estimate of profit of $4.81 per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.73 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 20.1% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $6.71 billion for the year, a rise of 21.1% from last year’s revenue of $5.54 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 23 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and seven rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 38.4% to $717 million ($5.63 a share) from $518 million ($3.94 a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 27.3% to $1.82 billion from $1.43 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 18.7%, with the biggest boost coming in the most recent quarter when revenue rose 27.3% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 32.8% in the second quarter and 23.5% in the first quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS), Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE:FIS), JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Green Dot Corporation (NYSE:GDOT), Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN), Wright Express Corporation (NYSE:WXS), Net one UEPS Tech., Inc. (NASDAQ:UEPS), FleetCor Tech., Inc. (NYSE:FLT), and Euronet Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ:EEFT).

Stock Price Performance: During December 28, 2011 to January 27, 2012, the stock price had dropped $24.83 (-6.6%) from $373.62 to $348.79. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between January 31, 2011 and February 7, 2011 when shares rose for six-straight days, rising 5.7% (+$13.44) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between December 29, 2011 and January 6, 2012 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 9.3% (-$35.19) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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