MasterCard Inc. reported profit that beat analysts’ estimates as spending on credit and debit cards rose. Shares gained in early trading.

Second-quarter net income climbed 21 percent to $848 million, or $6.96 a share, from $700 million, or $5.55, a year earlier, the Purchase, N.Y.-based firm said today in a statement. The average estimate of 33 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for earnings of $6.29 a share.

Chief Executive Officer Ajay Banga is repurchasing shares and boosting MasterCard’s dividend as consumers shift from cash to electronic payments. The company is targeting emerging markets for growth to counter sluggish spending in Europe and the U.S.

“We had a very good second quarter supported by increases in volume and transactions in all regions of the world despite slow economic growth globally,” Banga, 53, said in the statement.

MasterCard rose 3 percent to $619.50 at 8:17 a.m. in New York. The shares advanced 22 percent this year through yesterday, outpacing the 10 percent gain of the 70-company Standard & Poor’s 500 Information Technology Index.

Visa Inc., the biggest payments network, climbed 26 percent since Dec. 31. The Foster City, Calif.-based company last week posted a profit for the three months ended June 30 of $1.23 billion, or $1.88 a share. Discover Financial Services reported net income for the same period of $602 million, or $1.20 a share. Discover, operator of the fourth-biggest U.S. bank-card network, has gained 30 percent this year.

MasterCard’s revenue increased 15 percent to $2.1 billion in the quarter, compared with a $2 billion forecast by analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Tien-tsin Huang, an analyst with JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Moshe Orenbuch at Credit Suisse Group AG both predicted about $1.98 billion.

Worldwide spending on MasterCard- and Maestro-branded cards climbed 12 percent to $734 billion, the company said. Processed transactions jumped 11 percent to 9.5 billion, according to the statement.

Operating expenses increased 2.6 percent to $868 million from a year earlier, the company said. Huang had estimated $875 million while Orenbuch had predicted $874 million.

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