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MasterCard CEO Sees 'Dodgy' 2nd Quarter; Shares Fall

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Payments processor MasterCard reported profit that beat Wall Street's expectations on Wednesday, but its chief executive maintained a cautious outlook for the full year and said the second quarter quarter looks "dodgy" in the U.S.

Following the report, the company's shares inched lower before the opening bell. (Click here to track MasterCard stock.)

Profit was $766 million, up 12 percent from a year ago, MasterCard reported Wednesday. That worked out to $6.23 per share, beating the $6.18 per share expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue rose 8 percent to $1.9 billion, slightly less than the $1.93 billion expected by analysts.

During the company's earnings call, CEO Ajay Banga said consumer spending was strong at start of the year but cooled in February, hurt by taxes and economic uncertainty.

MasterCard's results were helped by an increase in cross-border volumes, which measures how much customers spend in countries other than the one they live in. That can be a gauge for how affluent customers are faring. Banga said he was pleased that results met the company's expectations, "despite the mixed global economic environment."

Growth in purchase volumes in the United States, the company's biggest market, eased to 4.6 percent from 13.2 percent a year earlier.

The company has been looking to boost its presence outside the United States tapping higher-growth markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, where cash transactions dominate. Purchase volumes in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa grew 19.1 percent.

During the call, Banga said the outlook for China is mixed, which has implications for Europe and the rest of Asia.

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