MasterCard Inc. (NYSE:MA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “MasterCard’s earnings per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate and were up year over year on a rise in the number of processed transactions and an increase in cross-border volumes, partly offset by higher rebates and incentives. MasterCard’s product-diversification and geographic-expansion initiatives augur well for the long term. Its multiple acquisitions over the past couple of years are also boosting inorganic growth. The recently announced buyout of VocaLink will strengthen its electronic payment capabilities. Increased cross-border volumes, improved pricing, growth of processed transactions and a vast global business continue to drive growth. The deal with PayPal will give MasterCard prominence in online transactions. However, the company is challenged with soft investment results, the integration of acquired companies, a challenging forex environment, higher rebates and incentives as well as litigations. “

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $128.00 price target (up previously from $120.00) on shares of MasterCard in a research note on Friday, July 29th. RBC Capital Markets reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $115.00 price target (up previously from $112.00) on shares of MasterCard in a research note on Monday, October 31st. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of MasterCard in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. Citigroup Inc. lifted their price target on MasterCard from $106.00 to $108.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Vetr downgraded MasterCard from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $110.07 price target for the company. in a research note on Monday, October 31st. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $110.78.

Analyst Recommendations for MasterCard (NYSE:MA)

Shares of MasterCard (NYSE:MA) traded up 0.34% during trading on Thursday, hitting $104.35. 1,190,408 shares of the company traded hands. The company has a market capitalization of $113.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.85 and a beta of 1.22. MasterCard has a 52 week low of $78.52 and a 52 week high of $108.93. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $103.04 and a 200 day moving average price of $97.39.

MasterCard (NYSE:MA) last released its earnings results on Friday, October 28th. The company reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.98 by $0.10. MasterCard had a return on equity of 69.11% and a net margin of 38.11%. The company earned $2.88 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.74 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.91 earnings per share. MasterCard’s quarterly revenue was up 14.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that MasterCard will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 9th. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 10th were given a $0.19 dividend. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.73%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, October 5th. MasterCard’s payout ratio is 20.99%.

In other MasterCard news, Director Richard Haythornthwaite sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $101.78, for a total value of $508,900.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 52,423 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,335,612.94. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Robert Reeg sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.81, for a total value of $628,860.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 47,501 shares in the company, valued at $4,978,579.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.14% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. 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. Gluskin Sheff & Assoc Inc. increased its position in shares of MasterCard by 15.6% in the second quarter. Gluskin Sheff & Assoc Inc. now owns 403,288 shares of the company’s stock worth $35,514,000 after buying an additional 54,375 shares during the last quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. increased its position in shares of MasterCard by 1.3% in the second quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 191,251 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,842,000 after buying an additional 2,389 shares during the last quarter. Capital Fund Management S.A. increased its position in shares of MasterCard by 52.5% in the second quarter. Capital Fund Management S.A. now owns 906,868 shares of the company’s stock worth $79,859,000 after buying an additional 312,103 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Peak Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of MasterCard by 38.5% in the second quarter. Peak Asset Management LLC now owns 7,574 shares of the company’s stock worth $667,000 after buying an additional 2,106 shares during the last quarter. 75.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About MasterCard

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MA

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