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Global growth boosts MasterCard 4Q net income

The company took a $500 million charge in late 2011 to cover a settlement with retailers over transaction fees.

Wilfredo Lee /Associated Press

The company took a $500 million charge in late 2011 to cover a settlement with retailers over transaction fees.

NEW YORK — MasterCard’s net income rebounded in the fourth quarter as its overseas business continued to expand, the company said. The results benefited by comparison to the year-earlier quarter, which was weighed down by a legal charge.

Net income rose to $605 million, or $4.86 per share, from $19 million, or 15 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose 10 percent to $1.90 billion.

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MasterCard processed 20 percent more transactions than a year before; it is expanding most quickly in Latin America and the region that includes Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

For all of 2012, MasterCard earned $2.76 billion, or $21.94 per share, on revenue of $7.39 billion.

During the most recent quarter, management repurchased about 1.3 million shares of the company for $613 million. Repurchasing shares is a way of returning profits to shareholders. It boosts the value of each share that remains in investors’ hands.

On Thursday, the stock rose $2.40 to $518.40.

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