MasterCard Profit Jumps as Consumers Spend More

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

MasterCard’s Q1 earnings rose close to 15 percent on the heels of strong global payments growth.

MasterCard’s first-quarter revenue rose 14.8 percent to $1.5 billion. Worldwide purchase volume increased 12.9 percent on a local currency basis, and the company said the amount of dollars it processed globally grew at the highest quarterly rate since the third quarter of 2008, as the financial crisis unfurled.

The company reported a profit of $562 million, or $4.29 per share. That compares with $455 million, or $3.46 per share, in the year-ago period.

A focus on the global payments market opportunities has been a key element in MasterCard’s recent growth:

Chief Executive Ajay Banga, who took the company’s helm last year, is increasingly turning MasterCard abroad for growth, in the face of U.S. regulation and Visa’s dominance of the U.S. debit card processing market. The payments industry hopes to find new sources of revenue through processing mobile or e-commerce payments in developing countries, where most consumers do not yet use credit or debit cards.

The supplemental operating statistics released at the same time show U.S. purchase volumes increasing at a healthy rate (7.4 percent), but with debit continuing to grow faster than credit (10.7 percent vs. 4.9 percent). The decline in credit card accounts we have commented upon among both Visa and MasterCard brands appears to have stopped for MasterCard, with both credit and charge accounts being essentially flat for a fourth quarter in a row, while debit accounts on file continued to grow.

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