Today MasterCard (NYSE:MA) announced its earnings for the first quarter, reporting earnings per share of $0.73 and a net income of $870 million -- gains of 18% and 14%, respectively.

Source: MasterCard.

"We kicked off the year with a strong quarter, despite a mixed global economy," said MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga in the press release.

Revenue at MasterCard was up almost $275 million, or 14.2% to $2.2 billion. Its expenses rose from $799 million to $892 million, a gain of 11.6%. The company noted the reason behind the increased expenses were the result of more rebates and incentives.

In total, purchase volume on the MasterCard network stood at $759 billion -- a gain of 13%. Its gross dollar volume, which includes purchases as well as cash transactions, rose by 14% to $1.0 trillion. In addition, it also saw its total transactions rise by 14% to 9.8 billion.

"We secured several new agreements, including three of the largest retailers. Wal-Mart and Sam's Club will flip their co-brand portfolios to MasterCard. Target will also shift its co-brand to MasterCard and use our chip and PIN technology across all of its card products as part of a commitment to provide its customers with the most secure payment product," continued Ajay Banga. "At the same time, we continue to invest in technology and acquisitions that will speed our development of mobile and online solutions."

MasterCard also noted it repurchased $1.7 billion of its common stock in the first quarter, or 21.3 million shares. It also repurchased another 6.2 million shares through the first 24 days of April for approximately $450 million.

As a result of the repurchases through both the first quarter and April, its common stock would be down approximately 4% from where it stood at the end of the first quarter of last year. In total, the company concluded it had $1.5 billion remaining on its repurchase authorization.

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