* Fourth-qtr profit $4.86 per share vs est $4.81 per share
* Revenue up 10 pct to $1.9 bln vs est $1.89 bln
* Worldwide purchase volume rises 13 pct
* Says cautious about 2013
Jan 31 MasterCard Inc's fourth-quarter
results topped Wall Street estimates as more people chose card
payments over cash but the payment network said global economic
woes could slow revenue growth in 2013.
Shares of company, which had risen 4 percent in early trade,
changed course and were down more than $1 at $514.35 in
late-morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
"There is going to be uncertainty in Europe and the US could
well be on a path for a slow recovery, but fiscal policy
discussions and circumstances have not been completely
resolved," Chief Executive Ajay Banga said on a conference call.
"They could affect consumer confidence further."
U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly deteriorated for a
second straight month to its lowest in over a year in January,
while a weaker economy in the United Kingdom is pushing the
country closer to a "triple-dip" recession.
"Given the current economic backdrop, we expect net revenue
growth in the first half of 2013 to be below the 10.7 percent
currency-adjusted rate that we saw in the second half of 2012,"
Chief Financial Officer Martina Hund-Mejean said.
But she backed the company's long-term earnings objectives.
MasterCard expects 20 percent compounded annual growth on an
earnings-per-share basis in the 2013 to 2015 period.
BETTING ON AFRICA, MOBILE
MasterCard and larger rival Visa Inc run debit and
credit card networks and have been working to spread card
payments in parts of the world dominated by cash transactions.
For both companies, business in Africa, Asia and the Middle
East has been growing faster than the United States of the last
MasterCard customers made $727 billion of purchases
worldwide on a local currency basis, up 13 percent.
Purchase volumes in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa
grew at 19.5 percent, far outpacing the 7.1 percent rise in the
The company is now focusing on tie-ups with banks in Africa
and Brazil, where mobile and card payments are on the rise.
It signed a deal with Equity Bank of Kenya earlier this
month to issue five million debit and prepaid cards over the
next 18-months. The deal will also be extended to Uganda,
Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan later.
The company has also partnered with TIM, the second-largest
mobile network operator in Brazil, to launch a mobile money
program for its subscribers.
"I'm trying to put my bets in multiple places in mobile,"
Chief Executive Ajay Banga said on the call.
Banga wants the company to be able to offer all kinds of
mobile payments, including tap-and-go transactions, transferring
money via short messaging services and mobile wallets.
MasterCard's emerging markets focus boosted its
fourth-quarter results. It earned $605 million, or $4.86 per
share, in the quarter, up from $19 million, or 15 cents per
share, a year earlier.
The Purchase, New York-based company took a $495 million
litigation charge in the year-ago quarter.
Fourth-quarter revenue rose 10 percent to $1.9 billion - the
fastest it has grown in three quarters.
Analysts on average expected the company to earn $4.81 per
share, excluding items, on revenue of $1.89 billion, according
to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
MasterCard's results bode well for Visa, which is slated to
report earnings next week.