Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) second quarter profits handily beat Wall Street expectations. The payment processing company’s second quarter earnings soared 19 percent to $848 million or $6.96 per diluted share from $700 million or $5.55 a share in the same period a year ago. The increase in purchase volumes pushed revenues up 15 percent to $2.1 billion from $1.8 billion in the corresponding quarter last year.

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Volume and transactions increase despite sluggish economy

Analysts polled by Thompson Reuters were expecting $2 billion in revenues and $6.30 a share in earnings. Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) said global purchase volume surged 12 percent during the quarter on a local currency basis to $734 billion. MasterCard Inc. CEO Ajay Banga said in a statement that the company recorded an excellent second quarter due to an increase in transactions and volume despite slow global economic growth.

Banga is boosting dividend and buying back shares as consumers continue to shift to electronic payments. Ajay Banga is focusing on emerging markets to bolster growth as spending in the U.S. and Europe remains sluggish. Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA)’s operating expenses increased 5 percent to $868 million from a year ago. Effective tax rate for the quarter stood at 31.2 percent, compared to 28 percent in the same period last year. MasterCard Inc. (NYSE:MA) shares have risen 22 percent this year until yesterday.

In contrast, Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA)’s arch rival Visa Inc (NYSE:V) last week reported third quarter earnings of $1.88 per share with $3 billion in revenues, compared to Wall Street expectations of $1.79 a share in earnings and $2.89 billion in revenues.

MasterCard’s H1 2013 performance

For the H1 2012 ended June 30, MasterCard Inc (NYSE:MA)’s operating income was up 16 percent to $1.6 billion or $13.19 a share excluding one-time items. The Purchase, New York-based firm’s total revenues for the six months came at $4 billion, an increase of 12 percent from H1 2012.

The company repurchased shares worth $1.347 billion during the first half of this year. MasterCard Inc (NYSE:MA) distributed $110 million in dividend, up from $57 million in H1 2012. Earlier this year, the company board approved a $2 billion share buyback program.

MasterCard Inc (NYSE:MA) shares were up 3.38 percent to $621.74 at 10:08 AM EDT.