Feb 5 MasterCard Inc doubled its
quarterly cash dividend and said it would buy back up to $2
billion of its Class A shares, days after the card payment
network reported strong fourth- quarter results helped by its
performance in emerging markets.
The new buyback program will become effective after the
company completes its existing $1.5 billion repurchase program,
which had about $440 million remaining as of Jan. 25.
MasterCard shares were up 1.4 percent before the bell.
The new dividend of 60 cents per share effectively returns
$75 million to shareholders every quarter, based on 124 million
shares outstanding as of Jan. 31.
"Our strong financial performance allows us to increase the
return of cash to shareholders through our dividend and share
repurchase programs," MasterCard Chief Executive Ajay Banga said
in a statement.
MasterCard's fourth-quarter results topped Wall Street
estimates, but the company said global economic uncertainty
could slow revenue growth in 2013.
MasterCard, the world's second-biggest debit and credit card
network after Visa Inc, has been boosting its presence in
markets previously dominated by cash.
Both companies have been growing faster in Africa, Asia and
the Middle East than in the United States in recent quarters.
Shares of the Purchase, New York-based company closed at
$514.22 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. The shares
have risen nearly 10 percent in the last three months.