MasterCard Incorporated has announced financial results for the first quarter of 2014. The company reported net income of $870 million, up 14%, and earnings per diluted share of $0.73, up 18%, in each case versus the year-ago period.
Net revenue for the first quarter of 2014 was $2.2 billion, a 14% increase versus the same period in 2013, both as-reported and adjusted for currency. Net revenue growth was driven by the impact of the following:
- A 14% increase in gross dollar volume, on a local currency basis, to $1.0 trillion;
- An increase in processed transactions of 14%, to 9.8 billion; and
- An increase in cross-border volumes of 17%.
These factors were partially offset by an increase in rebates and incentives, primarily due to new and renewed agreements and increased volumes.
Worldwide purchase volume during the quarter was up 13% on a local currency basis versus the first quarter of 2013, to $759 billion. As of March 31, 2014, the company’s customers had issued just over 2 billion MasterCard and Maestro-branded cards.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Ajay Banga, president and CEO of MasterCard, said, “We kicked off the year with a strong quarter, despite a mixed global economy. We secured several new agreements, including three of the largest retailers. Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club will flip their co-brand portfolios to MasterCard. Target will also shift its co-brand to MasterCard and use our chip and PIN technology across all of its card products as part of a commitment to provide its customers with the most secure payment product. At the same time, we continue to invest in technology and acquisitions that will speed our development of mobile and online solutions.”
Total operating expenses increased 12%, or 11% after adjusting for currency, to $892 million, during the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. The increase was primarily driven by higher investments, including acquisitions, to support strategic initiatives.
Operating income for the first quarter of 2014 increased 16% over the year-ago period and the company delivered an operating margin of 59.0%.
MasterCard’s effective tax rate was 32.0% in the first quarter of 2014, versus a rate of 30.5% in the comparable period in 2013. The increase was primarily due to a less favorable geographic mix of taxable earnings.
During the first quarter of 2014, MasterCard repurchased approximately 21.3 million shares of Class A common stock at a cost of approximately $1.7 billion. Quarter-to-date through April 24, the company repurchased an additional 6.2 million shares at a cost of approximately $453 million, with $1.5 billion remaining under the current repurchase program authorization.