MA: MasterCard Stock Drops on Earnings Miss

Operating expenses rose sharply during the quarter


MasterCard MCDespite higher quarterly earnings, MasterCard (MA) fell short of Wall Street expectations, sending MA stock down more than 5% in Friday morning trading.

MA posted a fourth-quarter profit of $623 million, up from $605 million in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted EPS came in at 57 cents, but that disappointed analysts, who had predicted earnings of 60 cents per share of MA stock, Reuters noted.

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The second largest credit card issuer generated revenue of $2.13 billion during the quarter, up 12% over the same time last year, but that still came in below the $2.14 billion in quarterly MA revenue that analysts were looking for.

U.S. card holders increased purchase volumes made through MasterCard cards by 7.4% during the quarter. Globally, MA purchase volumes were up 11%.

MA said that its operating expenses jumped 21.1% during the quarter, partially due to $95 million provisioned to settle outstanding lawsuits. Total operating expenses at MA hit $1.21 billion during the quarter.

Earlier this month, MasterCard shares split 10-for-1, a move the company announced in December.

Over the past year, MA stock has gained more than 50%. MasterCard stock closed at $79.76 a share on Thursday.

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