MasterCard doubles dividend, to buy back $2 billion of shares

PURCHASE, N.Y. Tue Feb 5, 2013 — MasterCard Inc. doubled its quarterly cash dividend and said it would buy back up to $2 billion of its Class A shares, days after the card payment network reported strong fourth-quarter results helped by its performance in emerging markets.

The new buyback program will become effective after the company completes its existing $1.5 billion repurchase program, which had about $440 million remaining as of Jan. 25.

MasterCard shares were up 1.4 percent before the bell.

The new dividend of 60 cents per share effectively returns $75 million to shareholders every quarter, based on 124 million shares outstanding as of Jan. 31.

MasterCard profit rises as card payments grow

PURCHASE, N.Y., Thu Jan 31, 2013 — MasterCard Inc., the world’s second-largest credit and debit card network, reported a higher fourth-quarter profit as more people choose card payments over cash.
For the quarter ended Dec. 31, net income rose to $605 million, or $4.86 per share, from $19 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.
The company took a $495 million litigation charge in the year-ago quarter.
Revenue rose 10 percent to $1.9 billion.
Cardholders made $727 billion of purchases worldwide, on a local currency basis, up 13 percent.

Restaurants oppose $7.2 billion credit-card fee settlement

NEW YORK, Tue Sep 25, 2012 – The National Restaurant Association said Tuesday it is joining the opposition to a proposed $7.2 billion settlement between some retailers and Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc. over fees for credit card transactions.

The NRA, which represents the $600 billion U.S. restaurant industry, is the last of six trade groups leading the case to weigh in on the potentially historic settlement.

The trade group’s chief concern is that the settlement would prohibit all merchants that use Visa and MasterCard – whether they decide to opt in or opt out of the settlement – from filing future lawsuits over interchange issues.

“There is strong concern that the proposed settlement agreement will not achieve the litigation’s most critical goal – to fundamentally change a broken marketplace in which swipe fees are set,” NRA President and CEO Dawn Sweeney said in a statement.

NRA’s board of directors unanimously voted to throw the trade group’s weight behind the opposition amassing against the settlement, the group said. While the group has been pushing for reforms that would bring transparency to the interchange system and help lower costs for restaurants, the proposed settlement accomplishes neither, it said.

The antitrust settlement was announced in July and requires the approval of U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn, New York, a process that could stretch well into 2013. If it does receive approval, the settlement would be the largest of its kind in U.S. history, resolving a seven-year-old lawsuit accusing Visa and MasterCard of conspiring with major banks to artificially inflate swipe fees.

MasterCard revenue misses as consumers rein in spending

PURCHASE, N.Y., Wed Aug 1, 2012 – MasterCard Inc.’s quarterly revenue missed Wall Street estimates as worldwide purchase volume growth slowed to its lowest level in five quarters, sending the credit and debit card network’s shares down 3 percent before the bell.
Net income rose to $700 million, or $5.55 per share, from $608 million, or $4.76 per share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose 9 percent to $1.82 billion. On a constant currency basis, revenue rose 13 percent.
The card network also took a pre-tax charge of $20 million, related to its share of the settlement in the ‘swipe fee’ lawsuit.
Excluding the charge, the company earned $5.65 per share.
Analysts on average had expected a profit of $5.58 per share, excluding items, on revenue of $1.87 billion according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
MasterCard, along with rival Visa Inc. and banks that issue their credit cards, agreed to a $7.25 billion settlement with U.S. retailers in a lawsuit over the fixing of debit and credit card fees.
MasterCard had already set aside $770 million to cover most of its $790 million liability.

MasterCard reports higher quarterly profits as consumers use cards more

PURCHASE, N.Y., Wed May 2, 2012 – MasterCard Inc. the world’s second-largest credit and debit card network, reported higher quarterly profits as consumers spent more with their cards.

Net income in the first quarter was $682 million, or $5.36 a share, compared with $562 million, or $4.29 a share, a year earlier, the company said on Wednesday.

Cardholders made $629 billion of millions of purchases worldwide in the quarter, up 17 percent from a year earlier, the Purchase, New York-based company said.

Visa Inc., the MasterCard’s larger competitor in card payment processing, is scheduled to report its results following the close of New York Stock Exchange trading.

MasterCard, Visa warn of possible security breach

WILMINGTON, Del., Fri Mar 30, 2012 – MasterCard Inc. and Visa Inc. have notified U.S. banks of a potential security breach, the latest in a string of incidents that have put the personal information of millions of credit card holders at risk.

The companies, which are the two largest global credit card processors, said the issue stemmed from a third-party vendor and not their own internal systems.

Following news of the breach, the shares of Atlanta-based Global Payments Inc were halted after dropping more than 9.1 percent. A representative did not immediately return a request for comment.

Several other processing companies, including Heartland Payment Systems Inc, VeriFone Systems Inc and First Data denied responsibility for the potential breach. Card Systems Inc and WorldPay did not immediately respond to inquiries about the matter.

MasterCard said it notified law enforcement officials and has hired an independent data-security organization to review the possible breach.

A U.S. Secret Service spokesman said the agency was investigating, but declined to give any specifics about the breach.

“MasterCard is concerned whenever there is any possibility that cardholders could be inconvenienced and we continue to both monitor this event and take steps to safeguard account information,” the company said in a statement. “If cardholders have any concerns about their individual accounts, they should contact their issuing financial institution.”

Visa emphasized that customers are not responsible for fraudulent purchases.

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.

ATM group sues Visa, MasterCard over access price fixing

WASHINGTON ― A group representing operators of automated teller machines filed a lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard  alleging that the credit and debit card issuers violated antitrust laws by fixing the price of ATM access fees.

The suit, which seeks national class action status, was filed on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of the National ATM Council and several independent ATM operators.

The suit, charging restraint of trade, alleges that Visa and MasterCard network rules prohibit ATM operators from offering lower prices for transactions over PIN-debit networks that are not affiliated with Visa or MasterCard.

The suit alleges that the price fixing artificially raises the price consumers pay for ATM services, limits ATM operator revenue, and violates antitrust laws.

It claims that rules by the card issuers prevent an operator from offering consumers a discount for ATM transactions not completed over Visa or MasterCard networks.

“Visa and MasterCard are the ringleaders, organizers, and enforcers of a conspiracy among U.S. banks to fix the price of ATM access fees in order to keep the competition at bay,” Jonathan Rubin, of the Rubin PLLC law firm which represents the plaintiffs, said in a statement.

The proposed class, should the case be granted class action status, would be comprised of independent operators of some 200,000 ATMs in the United States, Rubin said.

Visa declined to comment. MasterCard did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the lawsuit.

MasterCard profit jumps 33 percent as transactions, revenue increase

PURCHASE, N.Y. ― MasterCard Inc.’s second-quarter profit rose 33 percent, beating Wall Street estimates, as the company processed more card transactions and revenue increased.

MasterCard reported net income of $608 million or $4.76 per share, up from $458 million, or $3.49 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts expected $4.23 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net revenue increased 22 percent to $1.7 billion as payment volumes and MasterCard’s international business grew.

Total operating expenses increased at a slightly slower rate than revenue, rising 20 percent to $782 million.

MasterCard said the expense increase was due to higher personnel costs related to acquisitions.