MasterCard profit rises as more people use cards

Reuters With CNBC

MasterCard, the world's second-largest debit and credit card company, posted a 14 percent rise in quarterly profit as more people used cards to shop.

MasterCard's worldwide purchase volume increased 10 percent on a local currency basis to $759 billion.

Purchase volumes in the United States rose 9 percent to $268 billion from a year earlier.

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"We kicked off the year with a strong quarter, despite a mixed global economy. We secured several new agreements, including three of the largest retailers," MasterCard Chief Executive Ajay Banga said.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. consumer sentiment rose sharply in the first quarter as optimism about the economic outlook improved, according to a global survey, which also showed rising confidence in debt-laden euro zone countries.

The company's net income rose to $870 million, or 73 cents per share, for the first quarter ended March 31, from $766 million, or 62 cents per share, a year earlier.

Net revenue rose about 14 percent to $2.18 billion.

Analysts on average had expected the company to earn 72 cents per share on revenue of $2.14 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Larger rival Visa said last week that U.S. sanctions on Russia were hurting its card transaction and that revenue growth would slow further this quarter.

MasterCard made no mention of any impact from Russia in its statement on Thursday.

MasterCard's shares were up 0.6 percent at $74 in premarket trading. The stock has fallen 11.1 percent so far this year, underperforming the broader S&P 500 index, which has risen 1.6 percent. (Click here to see what to MasterCard stock is doing now.)

MasterCard recently partnered with competitor Visa to form a cross-industry group to improve credit card security and protect customers from theft and fraud, following large data breaches at Target and other companies. The group will pressure retailers and banks to adopt newer technology.

The company has also pulled its business out of some Russian banks after the U.S. government imposed sanctions over Russian president Putin's actions in Crimea and Ukraine. In response, the Russian government is reviving a plan to build its own credit-card payment system.

By Reuters. CNBC contributed to this report.

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to show that MasterCard has pulled its business out of some Russian banks.