Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) released its earnings report for the quarter ended September 31 this morning before the market opened on Wall Street. The company showed earnings of $7.27 per share for the three month period. The figure beat analyst expectations by a good margin. Shares in Mastercard were trading up in pre-market as a result.

MasterCard logo

In the run up to the release of this earnings report analysts following Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) were looking for earnings per share of $6.93 for the three months, which Mastercard recorded as its third quarter of 2013. The beat on expectations is a surprise after the company’s biggest competitor Visa Inc (NYSE:V) managed to miss earnings estimates in its third quarter report.

Mastercard earnings

In the same three months of 2013 Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) managed to earn $6.17 per share. The company’s growth year over year comes in at about 18%. Revenue in the third quarter came in at $2.2 billion, up from the $1.9 billion the company recorded in the third quarter of 2012, and above the $2.1 billion expected by analysts.

Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) has a habit of beating expectations when it comes time to report earnings. This morning’s earnings mean that the company has beaten expectations all six of its most recent earnings reports. The comparison between the firm’s beat and the miss at Visa Inc (NYSE:V) will make it difficult for investors to analyze the state of the consumer economy.

Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) said that the company saw growth in “all geographies” and said that the company’s technological advantage has helped to drive its results across the world. The company did not show much insight into the state of the consumer economy in this report, but might reveal more information in the earnings call it plans to host at 9 AM EST this morning.

Mastercard performance

Owing partly to a recovering economy, shares in Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) have increased by more than 45% since 2013 began. The company’s stock has outperformed that of Visa Inc (NYSE:V) by a wide margin, and it has edged ahead of American Express, another major player in the credit card world.

Shares are currently priced at close to 30 times 2012 earnings. That implies a huge amount of growth is expected from the company in the coming quarters, and could make the company’s stock volatile.