MasterCard Inc. (MA) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research
MasterCard Inc. (NYSE:MA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $114.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 12.37% from the stock’s current price.
According to Zacks, “MasterCard’s product-diversification and geographic-expansion initiatives augur long-term growth. The company’s multiple acquisitions over the past couple of years are also boosting inorganic growth. The recently announced buyout of VocaLink will further strengthen its electronic payment capabilities. Increased cross-border volumes, improved pricing, growth of processed transactions and vast global business continue to drive growth.The partnership with PayPal will give MasterCard higher prominence in online transactions, by funneling more transactions through its network. However, the company is challenged with soft investment results, integration of acquisitions, a challenging forex environment, higher rebates and incentives as well as litigations.”
Several other analysts have also commented on the company. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of MasterCard in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $110.00 price target on shares of MasterCard in a research note on Saturday, July 2nd. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $115.00 price target on shares of MasterCard in a research note on Monday, July 25th. Barclays PLC decreased their price target on MasterCard from $105.00 to $103.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. Finally, William Blair reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of MasterCard in a research note on Tuesday, July 19th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-five have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $109.72.
MasterCard (NYSE:MA) opened at 101.45 on Wednesday. MasterCard has a 52 week low of $78.52 and a 52 week high of $102.23. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $98.02 and its 200 day moving average price is $95.18. The company has a market capitalization of $111.37 billion, a PE ratio of 29.76 and a beta of 1.15.
MasterCard (NYSE:MA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.96 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.06. MasterCard had a return on equity of 66.32% and a net margin of 37.39%. The company had revenue of $2.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.59 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.85 EPS. MasterCard’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that MasterCard will post $3.63 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 9th. Investors of record on Monday, October 10th will be given a dividend of $0.19 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 5th. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.75%. MasterCard’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 22.35%.
In other MasterCard news, major shareholder Foundation Mastercard sold 84,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.17, for a total value of $7,658,280.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 115,148,971 shares in the company, valued at $10,498,131,686.07. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Robert Reeg sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.79, for a total value of $568,740.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 53,501 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,071,359.79. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 3.14% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Legal & General Group Plc raised its stake in MasterCard by 2.2% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 4,178,642 shares of the company’s stock valued at $394,829,000 after buying an additional 88,996 shares in the last quarter. First Quadrant L P CA raised its stake in MasterCard by 4.5% in the second quarter. First Quadrant L P CA now owns 128,980 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,358,000 after buying an additional 5,600 shares in the last quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. raised its stake in MasterCard by 8.5% in the first quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. now owns 1,485,510 shares of the company’s stock valued at $140,381,000 after buying an additional 115,900 shares in the last quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. raised its stake in MasterCard by 1.3% in the second quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 191,251 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,842,000 after buying an additional 2,389 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Panagora Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in MasterCard by 27.5% in the first quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 371,338 shares of the company’s stock valued at $35,091,000 after buying an additional 80,027 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.12% of the company’s stock.
MasterCard Incorporated is a technology company that connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses across the world. The Company operates through payment solutions segment. The Company allows user to make payments by a range of payment solutions and services using various brands, which include MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus.
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