Mastercard Inc., the world's second largest credit-card company, said its earnings more than doubled in the first three months of 2008 on higher use outside the US, helping the company to surpass its larger rival Visa Inc.
MasterCard shares jumped 14% during afternoon trading, while Visa stock edged up 2.4%.
The New York-based card processing firm said it earned $446.9m, or $3.38 a share, from $214.9 million, or $1.57, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, net income was $398 million, or $3.01 a share. The company said revenue rose 29 percent to $1.18 billion.
Earnings significantly exceeded the $2 per share that analysts had expected on average according to Thomson Financial.
Another masterful performance, Daniel Perlin, an analyst at Wachovia Securities, wrote in a note to investors. MasterCard's first-quarter results reflect the power and diversity of the company's business model.
Net income included a $49 million gain from ending a business contract and $56 million from the sale of a stake in Brazilian credit-card company Redecard SA.
Sales increased by 29 percent from the previous year to $1.2 billion, beating average analyst estimates of $1.07 billion.
The company, which went public in May 2006, said it generates half its revenue from overseas, making it less reliant on the U.S. than Visa, which gets about two-thirds from domestic transactions.
Credit card use outside the U.S. soared during the quarter, with gross dollar volume surging 30 percent to $352 billion.
In the U.S., the value of transactions made by cardholders grew 8.9 percent, compared with 30 percent in Europe, 28 percent in Asia, 29 percent in Latin America and 34 percent in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
MasterCard had 935 million cards in service at the end of March, a 12 percent rise from a year earlier.
Visa reported a 28 percent increase in quarterly net income late Monday citing rising popularity of debit cards and other forms of electronic payment.