October 29, 2019 / 12:12 PM / 20 days ago

Strong consumer spending drives Mastercard profit beat

(Reuters) - Mastercard Inc (MA.N) on Tuesday beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit as customers shrugged off fears of an economic slowdown and spent more with their credit and debit cards, boosting fees for the world’s second-largest payment processor.

FILE PHOTO: A Mastercard logo is seen on a credit card in this picture illustration August 30, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/File Photo

The company’s gross dollar volume, the dollar value of transactions processed, rose 12.4% to $1.65 trillion in the third quarter.

Earlier this month, Mastercard and its peers including Visa and PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O) pulled out of Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) ambitious efforts to establish a global digital currency called Libra.

On Tuesday, Mastercard Chief Financial Officer Sachin Mehra indicated that the company would prefer to focus on its own efforts around blockchain technology, rather than be part of an association like Libra.

“We’re very engaged on the blockchain technology. Much like a lot of other companies we believe the technology has the capability to solve a lot of pain points. It still needs to be proven at scale depending on the use case and question,” Mehra told Reuters.

Around 28.2 billion transactions were processed in the quarter, up about 22% from a year earlier. The gain was led by a near 12% rise in the United States and a 31.4% jump in Europe.

Larger rival Visa Inc (V.N) and credit card issuer American Express Co (AXP.N) had also reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, benefiting from a rise in consumer spending.

Cross-border volumes at Mastercard jumped 17% from a year earlier.

The company’s net income rose 11% to $2.11 billion, or $2.07 per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $2.15 per share, while analysts had expected a profit of $2.01 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Bharath Manjesh and Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Maju Samuel

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