Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Mastercard (NYSE:MA) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Mastercard’s stock has outperformed the industry in a year's time. The company is poised for growth, given its solid market position, ongoing expansion and digital initiatives plus significant opportunities from the secular shift toward electronic payments. Its numerous acquisitions aided revenue growth. Mastercard’s third-quarter earnings of $1.78 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.95% and were up 33% year over year. Better-than-expected results were primarily backed by higher switched transactions, increase in cross-border volume and gross dollar volume as well as gains from acquisitions. An increase in year-over-year rebates and incentives was a partial dampener. However, escalating costs, higher incentives and rewards will put pressure on the company’s bottom line. “

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Loop Capital lifted their price target on Mastercard to $232.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 27th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Sandler O’Neill reiterated a hold rating and issued a $209.00 price objective on shares of Mastercard in a report on Friday, July 27th. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price objective on Mastercard from $223.00 to $232.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Tuesday, September 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Buckingham Research lifted their price objective on Mastercard from $222.00 to $230.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, July 27th. Finally, Raymond James assumed coverage on Mastercard in a report on Tuesday, July 24th. They issued an outperform rating and a $244.00 price objective on the stock. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-six have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $220.32.

MA stock traded up $3.13 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $200.71. 3,422,813 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,774,858. The company has a quick ratio of 1.55, a current ratio of 1.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01. Mastercard has a 12 month low of $140.61 and a 12 month high of $225.35. The firm has a market cap of $205.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 43.82, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.71 and a beta of 1.22.

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The credit services provider reported $1.78 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.68 by $0.10. Mastercard had a return on equity of 114.58% and a net margin of 35.88%. The firm had revenue of $3.90 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.86 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.34 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 14.7% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts expect that Mastercard will post 6.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 9th. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 9th were issued a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, October 5th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.50%. Mastercard’s dividend payout ratio is presently 21.83%.

In other Mastercard news, Director Richard K. Davis purchased 2,475 shares of Mastercard stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 2nd. The shares were bought at an average price of $196.37 per share, for a total transaction of $486,015.75. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 3,468 shares in the company, valued at $681,011.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 0.32% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Fulton Bank N.A. grew its holdings in shares of Mastercard by 2.0% during the 3rd quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 11,893 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $2,648,000 after acquiring an additional 235 shares during the period. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA grew its holdings in shares of Mastercard by 4.2% during the 3rd quarter. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA now owns 6,300 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $1,402,000 after acquiring an additional 254 shares during the period. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd grew its holdings in shares of Mastercard by 8.8% during the 2nd quarter. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd now owns 3,213 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $631,000 after acquiring an additional 259 shares during the period. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Mastercard by 1.6% during the 3rd quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 16,360 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $3,642,000 after acquiring an additional 259 shares during the period. Finally, Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of Mastercard by 0.6% during the 3rd quarter. Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd. now owns 43,276 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $9,634,000 after acquiring an additional 260 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 74.46% of the company’s stock.

Mastercard Company Profile

Mastercard Incorporated, a technology company, provides transaction processing and other payment-related products and services in the United States and internationally. It facilitates the processing of payment transactions, including authorization, clearing, and settlement, as well as delivers related products and services.

Featured Story: What is Liquidity?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Mastercard (MA)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Mastercard (NYSE:MA)

Receive News & Ratings for Mastercard Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Mastercard and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.