Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN) shares saw unusually-high trading volume on Wednesday following a better than expected earnings announcement. Approximately 1,579,452 shares traded hands during trading, an increase of 29% from the previous session’s volume of 1,223,907 shares.The stock last traded at $78.94 and had previously closed at $76.44.

The company reported $0.86 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.83 by $0.03. The business earned $939.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $814.12 million. Global Payments had a return on equity of 27.99% and a net margin of 9.37%. Global Payments’s quarterly revenue was up 52.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.79 EPS.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 25th. Investors of record on Friday, November 11th will be given a $0.01 dividend. This represents a $0.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.05%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 8th. Global Payments’s payout ratio is currently 1.95%.

A number of research firms recently commented on GPN. Nomura increased their price target on Global Payments from $64.00 to $66.00 in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods increased their price target on Global Payments from $88.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $83.00 price target on shares of Global Payments in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Barclays PLC increased their price target on Global Payments from $73.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Global Payments from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $77.75.

In related news, COO David E. Mangum sold 8,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.71, for a total transaction of $627,564.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 172,060 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,854,602.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider David E. Mangum sold 88,938 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.07, for a total value of $6,676,575.66. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 172,060 shares in the company, valued at $12,916,544.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.10% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in Global Payments by 0.9% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 773,444 shares of the company’s stock valued at $50,475,000 after buying an additional 7,011 shares during the last quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its position in Global Payments by 91.5% in the first quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 46,724 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,050,000 after buying an additional 22,324 shares during the last quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC raised its position in Global Payments by 66.4% in the first quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 113,522 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,412,000 after buying an additional 45,281 shares during the last quarter. Capital Fund Management S.A. raised its position in Global Payments by 163.4% in the second quarter. Capital Fund Management S.A. now owns 464,283 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,141,000 after buying an additional 288,045 shares during the last quarter. Finally, A.R.T. Advisors LLC raised its position in Global Payments by 11.4% in the first quarter. A.R.T. Advisors LLC now owns 38,169 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,492,000 after buying an additional 3,900 shares during the last quarter. 96.56% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

The stock has a 50-day moving average of $75.71 and a 200-day moving average of $73.87. The company has a market cap of $12.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.75 and a beta of 1.09.

About Global Payments

Global Payments Inc is a provider of payment technology services. The Company provides payment and digital commerce solutions. The Company operates in two segments: North America merchant services and International merchant services. The Company’s North America merchant services and International merchant services segments primarily provide payment solutions for credit cards, debit cards, electronic payments and check-related services.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:GPN

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