Mastercard Incorporated (MA) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Thursday. The brokerage currently has $160.00 price objective on the credit services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “MasterCard’s stock has outperformed the industry year to date.  The company is well positioned for growth given its solid market position, ongoing expansion and digital initiatives, and significant opportunities from the secular shift toward electronic payments. Revenue growth has remianed strong and will continue to grow on the back of its strong market position and attractive core business that continues to be driven by new deals, renewed agreements and expansion of service offerings. The acquisition of VocaLink and NuData Security, complement the company’s efforts to participate in new payment flows and enhance its safety and security offerings. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 2.6% upward over the last 60 days.”

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a buy rating and set a $124.00 price target on shares of Mastercard in a research report on Thursday, May 25th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a buy rating and set a $147.00 price target (up from $140.00) on shares of Mastercard in a research report on Tuesday, July 18th. Citigroup Inc. raised their price target on shares of Mastercard from $123.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, June 19th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Mastercard from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, June 10th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reissued a buy rating and set a $125.00 price target on shares of Mastercard in a research report on Friday, July 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and twenty-four have issued a buy rating to the stock. Mastercard presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $141.47.

Shares of Mastercard (MA) traded up 0.18% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $141.98. 1,131,642 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $133.90 and its 200-day moving average price is $122.61. Mastercard has a one year low of $99.51 and a one year high of $143.59. The company has a market capitalization of $151.19 billion, a PE ratio of 35.23 and a beta of 1.18.

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The credit services provider reported $1.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.04 by $0.06. Mastercard had a net margin of 38.30% and a return on equity of 74.92%. The company had revenue of $3.05 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.98 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.96 EPS. Mastercard’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Mastercard will post $4.43 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 9th. Investors of record on Friday, October 6th will be paid a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 5th. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.62%. Mastercard’s dividend payout ratio is currently 21.78%.

In other Mastercard news, CFO Martina Hundmejean sold 91,107 shares of Mastercard stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $129.79, for a total transaction of $11,824,777.53. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 170,570 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $22,138,280.30. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Foundation Mastercard sold 87,618 shares of Mastercard stock in a transaction on Monday, July 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $126.60, for a total transaction of $11,092,438.80. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 112,736,681 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,272,463,814.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 850,468 shares of company stock worth $109,574,694. 0.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Intl Fcstone Inc. acquired a new stake in Mastercard during the 2nd quarter worth $1,873,000. USA Financial Portformulas Corp boosted its stake in Mastercard by 945.0% during the 2nd quarter. USA Financial Portformulas Corp now owns 26,615 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $3,232,000 after purchasing an additional 24,068 shares during the last quarter. Farmers National Bank boosted its stake in Mastercard by 7.2% during the 2nd quarter. Farmers National Bank now owns 13,287 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $1,614,000 after purchasing an additional 889 shares during the last quarter. Kimelman & Baird LLC boosted its stake in Mastercard by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. Kimelman & Baird LLC now owns 109,983 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $13,357,000 after purchasing an additional 765 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sentry Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in Mastercard by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 75,771 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $9,202,000 after purchasing an additional 736 shares during the last quarter. 76.04% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Mastercard Company Profile

MasterCard Incorporated is a technology company that connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses across the world, enabling them to use electronic forms of payment. The Company operates through Payment Solutions segment. The Company allows user to make payments by creating a range of payment solutions and services using its brands, which include MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus.

Analyst Recommendations for Mastercard (NYSE:MA)

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