MasterCard: 4th quarter earnings snapshot

PURCHASE, N.Y. — MasterCard Inc. today reported fourth-quarter profit of $1.79 billion.

The company said it had net income of $1.78 per share. Earnings, adjusted for investment gains, were $1.64 per share.

The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.51 per share.

The processor of debit and credit card payments posted revenue of $4.12 billion in the period, also exceeding Street forecasts. Thirteen analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $3.99 billion.

For the year, the company reported profit of $6.41 billion, or $6.37 per share. Revenue was reported as $15.3 billion.

MasterCard shares have fallen 12% since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has stayed nearly flat. The stock has dropped slightly in the past 12 months.