MasterCard (NYSE:MA) is at the center of a macro trend that is tough to ignore: the death of paper money. Per-swipe transactions continue to rise even in America, since as much as 40% of transactions in the U.S. still take place with cash or paper checks.
But the real growth for MasterCard is coming from emerging markets, where a rising middle class is getting access to bank accounts and debit cards. Remember, MasterCard is not a debt issuer, but more of a toll-taker on the e-commerce superhighway. Every time you make a purchase, MasterCard gets paid — and it’s hard to believe that the number of people using plastic is going to decline anytime soon.
MA has reported 11 straight quarters of year-over-year revenue increases and is set to see earnings per share skyrocket from $14.85 in fiscal 2011 to $21.75 in fiscal 2012 — a nearly 50% increase.
MasterCard reports earnings May 2 and could easily break through its 52-week high of $443.80 with a good report.
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com. Write him at editor@investorplace??.com, follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP and become a fan of InvestorPlace on Facebook. Jeff Reeves holds a position in Alcoa, but no other publicly traded stocks.