MasterCard Profit Beats Estimates

Master Card the second-biggest U.S. payments network, posted a first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates as customer spending climbed.

Net income increased 12% to $766 million, or $6.23 a share, from $682 million, or $5.36, a year earlier, the Purchase, New York-based company said Wednesday in a statement.

The average estimate of 33 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for $6.17 a share.

MasterCard, led by Chief Executive Officer Ajay Banga, doubled its dividend and authorised a new share-repurchase program during the quarter as a global consumer shift from cash and checks to electronic payments continues unabated. Spending on the network grew faster last year than at larger competitor Visa Inc., which lost market share as news U.S. limits on debit- card transaction fees and processing took effect.

“We delivered solid performance that met our expectations despite the mixed global economic environment,” Banga, 53, said in the statement. “Since the start of the year, we have had steady momentum in new business, as well as product innovations.”