MasterCard 1Q profit up 24 pct on higher card use

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MasterCard Inc. says its first-quarter profit jumped 24 percent as consumers swiped their credit and debit cards more often.

The results topped analysts’ estimates. Its shares edged up $1.71 to $277 in pre-market trading.

The payment processor said Tuesday its net income rose to $562 million, or $4.29 per share, in the three months ended March 31. That’s up from $455 million, or $3.46 per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 15 percent to $1.50 billion.

Purchase volume increased 13 percent from the previous year to $545 billion.

The number of transactions MasterCard handled rose 11 percent to 6 billion.

Wall Street was expecting earnings of $4.06 per share on revenue of $1.45 billion.