MasterCard Inc. (MA) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

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

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on MA. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an overweight rating and set a $120.00 price target (up from $110.00) on shares of MasterCard in a research note on Friday, October 21st. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed an outperform rating and set a $124.00 price target (up from $120.00) on shares of MasterCard in a research note on Monday, October 31st. RBC Capital Markets reissued an outperform rating and issued a $115.00 price objective (up from $112.00) on shares of MasterCard in a research note on Monday, October 31st. Vetr raised MasterCard from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $108.31 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, November 15th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada raised their price objective on MasterCard from $112.00 to $115.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Monday, October 31st. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-three have given a buy rating to the stock. MasterCard currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $110.88.

MasterCard (NYSE:MA) opened at 103.36 on Thursday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $103.70 and its 200 day moving average price is $97.82. The company has a market capitalization of $112.62 billion, a PE ratio of 28.58 and a beta of 1.22. MasterCard has a 52 week low of $78.52 and a 52 week high of $108.93.

MasterCard (NYSE:MA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 28th. The company reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 company earned $2.88 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.74 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.91 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 14.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that MasterCard will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 9th. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 10th were paid a $0.19 dividend. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.74%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, October 5th. MasterCard’s dividend payout ratio is currently 20.99%.

In other news, major shareholder Foundation Mastercard sold 72,624 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $103.03, for a total transaction of $7,482,450.72. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 114,592,747 shares in the company, valued at $11,806,490,723.41. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Craig Vosburg sold 15,760 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.25, for a total value of $1,690,260.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 39,837 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,272,518.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.14% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MA. Seven Bridges Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in MasterCard during the second quarter worth $109,000. Lowe fs LLC increased its stake in MasterCard by 9.8% in the third quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 1,120 shares of the company’s stock worth $114,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Feltz Wealth PLAN Inc. purchased a new stake in MasterCard during the second quarter worth $121,000. Hanson McClain Inc. increased its stake in MasterCard by 11.0% in the second quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 1,409 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 140 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Thompson Siegel & Walmsley LLC purchased a new stake in MasterCard during the second quarter worth $125,000. Institutional investors own 74.44% of the company’s stock.

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.

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