MasterCard quarterly profit up as consumers use more credit

PURCHASE, N.Y. – MasterCard Inc. reported a higher quarterly profit, as consumers around the world spent more money using credit and debit cards.

For the fourth quarter, the company which has beaten analysts’ expectations for seven straight quarters, posted a net income of $514 million, or $4.03 a share, compared with $415 million or $3.16 a share last year.

Total revenue was $1.72 billion, up 20 percent.

Excluding items, the company posted a net income of $19 million, or 15 cents a share.

Fourth-quarter revenue is typically higher as consumers buy more during the holiday shopping period and card processors provide higher rebates and incentives to cardholders.

Shares of the company closed at $357.62 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.