• Purchases on Visa’s network jumped 10%; firm raises dividend
  • Mastercard expects 2018 tax rate of 20% after U.S. overhaul

Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. are still enjoying some holiday cheer.

The companies posted profit and revenue in the three months ended Dec. 31 that beat analysts’ estimates and boosted their 2018 earnings forecasts. A robust holiday season and increased gas prices spurred customer purchases on the firms’ networks in the quarter, with spending on Visa increasing 10 percent and 13 percent on Mastercard.

Season of Cheer

Holiday spending on Visa and Mastercard’s networks helped boost their revenue

  • Mastercard
  • Visa

01234$5BDec 31 2013Dec 31 2014Dec 31 2015Dec 31 2016Dec 31 2017

Source: Bloomberg data

Note: Data shows revenue for quarter ended Dec. 31 of a given year.

“Momentum accelerated in the U.S. driven by strong holiday spending and e-commerce growth,” Visa Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly said in a statement.

Mastercard shares rose 2.3 percent to a record $172.93 in New York, extending this year’s gain to 14 percent. Visa, which reported fiscal first-quarter results after the closing bell, slipped 0.8 percent to $123.62 at 4:53 p.m. in extended trading.

U.S. consumer spending rose at a solid pace in December as shoppers splurged during the holidays. Purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the economy, climbed 0.4 percent after a revised 0.8 percent advance a month…