Source AP ©

MasterCard fourth-quarter income rises

By Anastasia Tomazhenkova: The credit card network MasterCard Inc. reported that its fourth-quarter earnings rose more than seven times, due to additional sales of the company's investment in a Brazilian company.

Its shares rose about 3 percent in premarket trading.

The Purchase, New York-based company claimed that profit in the October to December period rose to 304 million dollars, or 2.26 dollars a share from 40.9 million dollars, or 30 cents a share in the same quarter the prior year.

The latest results include an after-tax gain of 185 million dollars from sales of the company's stake in Redecard SA, a company that signs up merchants in Brazil. Excluding that gain, profit came to 89 cents per share.

Revenue rose nearly 28 percent to 1.07 billion dollars from 839.2 million dollars a year ago.

The results beat estimates. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial predicted earnings of 72 cents per share on revenue of $984.8 million. Those estimates typically exclude one-time gains or losses.

MasterCard's full-year profit was 1.09 billion dollars, or 8.00 dollars a share, on revenue of 4.07 billion dollars.

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