Lower costs help MasterCard handily beat profit estimates

Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:59am EDT
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By Neha Dimri

(Reuters) - MasterCard Inc (MA.N: Quote), the world's No. 2 debit and credit card company, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as costs fell and shoppers spent more on its cards.

MasterCard's shares rose about 3.6 percent to a record-high of $93.59 in early trading on Wednesday. Larger rival Visa Inc's (V.N: Quote) shares also rose 1.7 percent.

"We are managing well, despite a mixed economic environment and challenging currency situation," Chief Executive Ajay Banga said in a statement.

Operating expenses fell about 1 percent to $879 million in the first quarter ended March 31, helped mainly by currency hedging.

The dollar .DXY, which has gained about 22 percent in the past 12 months against a basket of major currencies, has hurt U.S. multinational companies.

"Continued revenue momentum, good cost control, executing on our tax strategies ... contributed to the performance," Chief Financial Officer Martina Hund-Mejean said on a post-earnings conference call.

The company said it expects net revenue growth rate to be in low single digits in 2015 due to a stronger dollar.

MasterCard and larger rival Visa Inc (V.N: Quote) get more than 60 percent of their revenue from outside the United States, making them vulnerable to currency fluctuations. Visa is expected to report first-quarter earnings on Thursday.   Continued...

A sign with a logo of MasterCard is seen on the door of a shoe shop in Stavropol January 13, 2015. REUTERS/Eduard Korniyenko