Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of MasterCard Inc. (NYSE:MA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $117.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “MasterCard remains well positioned for growth given its expansion & digital initiatives. Also, gradual shift to electronic payments from paper-based forms should drive revenue growth. The company’s third-quarter 2016 earnings per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate and were up year over year. 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 proposed acquisition of major stake in 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. However, the company is challenged with soft investment results, the integration of acquired companies, escalating costs, a challenging forex environment as well as litigations.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Bank of America Corp. set a $103.00 price target on MasterCard and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Thursday, September 8th. Pacific Crest set a $110.00 target price on MasterCard and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. Vetr lowered MasterCard from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $108.31 target price on the stock. in a research report on Monday. Guggenheim lowered MasterCard from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 1st. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed an outperform rating and set a $124.00 target price (up from $120.00) on shares of MasterCard in a research report on Monday, October 31st. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-three have issued a buy rating to the company. MasterCard presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $110.90.

MasterCard (NYSE:MA) opened at 104.56 on Thursday. The company has a 50 day moving average of $103.56 and a 200 day moving average of $97.69. MasterCard has a 1-year low of $78.52 and a 1-year high of $108.93. The company has a market capitalization of $113.93 billion, a PE ratio of 28.91 and a beta of 1.22.

MasterCard (NYSE:MA) last announced its earnings results on Friday, October 28th. The company reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.10. MasterCard had a return on equity of 69.11% and a net margin of 38.11%. The business had revenue of $2.88 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.74 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.91 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 14.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that MasterCard will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

In related news, major shareholder Foundation Mastercard sold 48,424 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.98, for a total transaction of $5,083,551.52. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 114,157,003 shares in the company, valued at $11,984,202,174.94. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Michael Fraccaro sold 2,514 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $102.99, for a total value of $258,916.86. Following the sale, the insider now owns 5,687 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $585,704.13. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.14% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of MA. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in MasterCard by 0.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 59,998,942 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,283,508,000 after buying an additional 391,517 shares during the period. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its position in MasterCard by 10.4% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 43,801,206 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,457,649,000 after buying an additional 4,111,803 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its position in MasterCard by 1.0% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 26,444,226 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,691,229,000 after buying an additional 261,452 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in MasterCard by 0.8% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 17,539,994 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,785,045,000 after buying an additional 137,213 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised its position in MasterCard by 1.1% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 16,332,370 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,662,145,000 after buying an additional 180,787 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 75.02% of the company’s stock.

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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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