Mastercard posted a record quarterly profit as the payments company maintained the momentum of the first half of the year amid particularly strong growth overseas.

For the third quarter, Mastercard’s revenue jumped 18% to $3.4 billion while net income rose 21% to $1.43 billion, or $1.34 per share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.23 per share on revenue of $3.28 billion.

Gross dollar volume climbed 10% to $1.4 trillion, with the 13% growth in volume outside the U.S. comparing to just 6.1% growth domestically. Mastercard also reported Monday that there are 2.41 billion Mastercard and Maestro cards in circulation, up by about 137 million cards over the past 12 months.

“We are executing well on our strategy and are pleased to deliver another quarter of record results,” CEO Ajay Banga said in a news release.

“As the world becomes more connected, we remain very focused on security,” he added. “Our investments in technologies like biometrics, tokens, encryption and artificial intelligence are redefining the way both consumers and transactions are protected.”

As CNBC reports, Mastercard has been posting strong numbers “as a result of solid payment volume growth, a favorable foreign exchange environment and innovative additions to its card lineup. Like rival Visa, Mastercard generates revenue by facilitating credit- and debit-card transactions, and both their revenue streams are closely linked to consumer spending power.”

In September, consumer spending in the U.S. showed its largest increase in eight years and Visa also beat market expectations last week, posting an 11% rise in quarterly profit.

Acquisitions helped drive Mastercard’s revenue higher in the third quarter, contributing about 2.5 percentage points to growth. The company has also been seeking to gain an edge over rivals in the payments space by emphasizing new technology.

“So far, that’s been a solid strategy, but the competition among payment-services providers has only gotten fiercer in recent years,” The Motley Fool noted.

Mastercard shares jumped 1.4% to a record $151.00 in early trading Monday before dropping back to $149.87. The drop was attributed to profit taking after a 20% rise from the previous quarter.

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