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Mastercard's Stock Price Plummets on Earnings Miss

By Dave Kovaleski – Oct 28, 2020 at 10:46AM

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Lower travel spending hurt the credit card company

Mastercard (MA -0.28%) missed earnings estimates in the third quarter, primarily due to lower travel-related spending during the summer months. The stock price plummeted about 6% on the third-quarter earnings news in early trading Wednesday.

For the quarter, the credit card processor's revenue was down 14% to $3.8 billion, while net income was down 27% to $1.5 billion, or $1.51 per share. The drop in revenue came primarily from cross-border volume, which fell 36%. Cross-border volume refers to when the merchant and issuer are in different countries. The decline is due in large part to travel being down because of the pandemic.

A merchant wearing a mask holds out card swiper for buyer using credit card

Image source: Getty Images.

"Mastercard has been focused on helping merchants, banks, fintechs, governments and consumers with products and services to navigate the pandemic," CEO Ajay Banga said. "We are seeing encouraging progress in the trajectory of domestic spending, while travel spending remains a challenge."

Gross dollar volume, which is the dollar amount spent using Mastercard branded credit, was up 1% year over year to $1.6 trillion. Switched transaction fees, which cover authorization, clearing, and settlement, were up 5%.

"Meanwhile, we are winning new business in core payments and are making real progress with our digital solutions, differentiated service offerings and multi-rail capabilities," Banga said.

Operating expenses dropped 4%, despite increased expenses due to acquisitions. Excluding acquisitions, expenses fell 8% in the quarter year over year. The decline was primarily due to lower advertising and marketing costs, decreased travel, a decline in personnel costs, and lower spending on professional fees.

The stock price is now down 0.6% year to date and trades at about 37 times earnings.

Dave Kovaleski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Mastercard. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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