MasterCard's fourth-quarter earnings climbed 3 per cent as higher revenue countered a jump in expenses, but results missed expectations. The Purchase, N.Y. , payment networks company earned $623 million , or 52 cents per share, in the three months that ended December 31 . That compares with $605m , or 49 cents per share, a year earlier. Earnings in the most recent quarter totalled 57 cents per share, not counting a litigation-related charge. Revenue climbed 12pc to $2.13 billion , as consumers hit stores for holiday shopping. Analysts anticipated adjusted earnings of 60 cents per share on $2.14bn in revenue. MasterCard said its revenue climbed partly because of a 13pc increase in processed transactions to 10.4bn and a 14pc increase in gross dollar volume. Operating expenses, which included a $95m provision for a litigation settlement, rose 21pc to $1.21bn . Rival Visa Inc. , along with card issuers American Express Co. and Discover Financial Services , reported higher card spending during the holiday season. copyright
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