MasterCard's Masterful Quarter

Consumer credit card behemoth MasterCard (NYSE: MA  ) reported third-quarter results yesterday, and the stock ended the day down at the close. However, shares have bounced up slightly today, as investors push the stock near 52-week highs.

MasterCard saw a strong third quarter, with net income up 14% to $879 million. Earnings per diluted share jumped to $7.27, an increase of 18%. The company saw strong growth "across all geographies," according to CEO and president Ajay Banga, even despite the poor economic conditions in Europe and a recovering American economy. 

Motley Fool analyst Charly Travers says he generally doesn't like companies that look as expensive as MasterCard, given that the stock trades at about 30 times earnings and has already run up more than 45% this year. However, Charly thinks that MasterCard shares could be compelling if the company can indeed grow earnings at 20% a year for the next three years, as MasterCard expects.

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