MasterCard Profit Jumps; Shares Surge


MasterCard on Thursday said fourth-quarter profit rose more than sixfold as the credit card company sold parts of its investment in a Brazilian company.

The Purchase, N.Y.-based company said quarterly earnings rose to $304.2 million, or $2.26 a share, from $40.9 million, or 30 cents a share, in the same quarter the prior year.

MasterCard said it realized $284 million in pre-tax gains from sales of the company's investment in Redecard in Brazil. Those gains contributed $1.37 a share to earnings.

Analysts, on average, had been looking for MasterCard to earn 73 cents a share before one-time items, according to Reuters Estimates. On that basis, MasterCard earned 89 cents a share without the Brazilian gain.

The company said it expects revenue growth to be slower this year than 2007, but still at least 10 percent. Assumptions in that outlook include no global recession and no event that significantly disrupts cross-border travel, the company said.

In the fourth quarter, MasterCard's gross dollar volume increased 15 percent to $634 billion on a local currency basis.

The number of transactions processed increased 17 percent to 5.2 billion.