PURCHASE, N.Y. -- MasterCard's fourth-quarter earnings climbed 3 percent 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 Dec. 31. That compares with $605 million, or 49 cents per share, a year earlier.
Earnings in the most recent quarter totaled 57 cents per share, not counting a litigation-related charge.
Revenue climbed 12 percent to $2.13 billion, as consumers hit stores for holiday shopping.
Analysts anticipated adjusted earnings of 60 cents per share on $2.14 billion in revenue.
MasterCard said its revenue climbed partly because of a 13 percent increase in processed transactions to 10.4 billion and a 14 percent increase in gross dollar volume.
Operating expenses, which included a $95 million provision for a litigation settlement, rose 21 percent to $1.21 billion.
Rival Visa Inc., along with card issuers American Express Co. and Discover Financial Services, reported higher card spending during the holiday season.
MasterCard Inc.'s stock was down 5.6 percent, or $4.43, to $75.33 in premarket trading. The stock had already dropped 4.5 percent, as of Thursday, since closing 2013 at $83.55.