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MasterCard Profit Misses Analysts’ Estimates as Expenses Rise

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- MasterCard Inc., the second-biggest U.S. payments network, reported fourth-quarter profit that missed analysts’ estimates as expenses climbed. Shares fell in early trading.

Net income rose 3 percent to $623 million, or 52 cents a share, from $605 million, or 49 cents, adjusted for a stock split, the Purchase, New York-based firm said today in a statement. Profit excluding one-time items was 57 cents a share, missing the 60-cent average estimate of 29 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Ajay Banga, 54, is bolstering dividends and repurchasing shares amid a global shift to electronic payments from cash. MasterCard, which generates the majority of its revenue outside the U.S., raised its quarterly dividend 83 percent last month, announced a 10-for-1 stock split and authorized repurchasing as much as $3.5 billion.

“In addition to signing several significant deals last quarter, we made new investments in processing and person-to person payments,” Banga said in the statement.

MasterCard rose 2.7 percent to $79.76 yesterday in New York. The shares increased 55 percent in the past year, outpacing the 21 percent advance of the 65-company Standard & Poor’s 500 Information Technology Index.

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