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MasterCard profit beats as customers spend more

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

MasterCard, the world's No. 2 debit and credit card company, reported a better-than-expected profit for the holiday shopping quarter as customers swiped their cards more often.

The company, whose shares were up 4 percent in premarket trading on Friday, said worldwide purchase volume increased 12.1 percent to $858 billion in local currency terms during the fourth quarter, while its cross-border volumes rose 19 percent.

"Despite a mixed global economy, we delivered solid results for the quarter and for the full year in 2014," Chief Executive Ajay Banga said in a statement.

U.S. retail sales rose 5.5 percent from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve as demand for women's apparel, jewelry and casual dining offset sluggish sales of electronics, MasterCard said in December.

The company's net income rose to $801 million, or 69 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31 from $623 million, or 52 cents per share, a year earlier.

Net revenue rose 14 percent to $2.42 billion.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 67 cents per share on revenue of $2.39 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Larger rival Visa reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday.

Up to Thursday's close of $81.38, MasterCard shares had risen about 5 percent in the past year.