MasterCard (MA) on Wednesday reported first-quarter earnings of $682 million, or $5.36 a share, ahead of the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for a profit of $5.30 a share. The latest numbers were up from an adjusted profit of $514 million, or $4.03 a share, in the fourth quarter, and earnings of $562 million, or $4.29 a share, in the first quarter of 2011.
Revenue for the latest three months totaled $1.8 billion, compared to $1.7 billion the previous quarter, and $1.5 billion, a year earlier.
The company said that purchasing volume rose 17% year-over-year, on “a local currency basis,” to $629 billion during the first quarter.
CEO Ajay Banga said “we had a good start to the year with solid first quarter results driven by an increase in processed transactions, the highest quarterly growth rate since our IPO, as well as positive volume growth in all regions as consumers continue to adopt electronic payments.”
MasterCard’s shares closed at $455.90 Tuesday, returning 22% year-to-date, following a flat total return during 2011.
The shares trade for 18 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $25.91. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is $22.01.