Jan 27 (Reuters) - Mastercard Inc beat quarterly
profit estimates on Thursday as an uptick in international
travel powered card spending and said a recent drag on
cross-border travel from the Omicron variant was unlikely to
Increased vaccinations and easing pandemic-related curbs had
backed a recovery in spending, but surging COVID-19 infections
from the Omicron variant pressured cross-border travel in the
tail end of the fourth quarter and into January.
Chief Executive Officer Michael Miebach, however, said
cross-border travel will return to pre-pandemic levels by the
end of the year.
"There are early signs that the Omicron will be relatively
Shares of the company rose 4.3% to $359.22 as cross-border
volumes - a key metric that tracks card spending beyond the
country of issue - surged 53% during the quarter.
Mastercard's gross dollar volumes jumped 23% to $2.1
trillion from a year earlier. The metric represents the dollar
value of the transactions processed.
Rival American Express Co also beat quarterly profit
estimates on record levels of spending through its cards, while
Visa Inc is slated to report earnings later in the day.
Mastercard's net revenue rose 27% to $5.2 billion in the
quarter ended Dec. 31, above estimates of $5.16 billion,
according to Refinitiv data.
But its operating expenses, excluding acquisition costs,
rose 12% on the back of higher spending on personnel, marketing
and data processing.
Profit rose to $2.4 billion, or $2.41 per share, from $1.8
billion, or $1.78 per share, a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, Mastercard earned $2.35 per share,
above estimates of $2.21.
(Reporting by Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak
Dasgupta, Arun Koyyur and Devika Syamnath)