Mastercard (NYSE:MA) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, January 2nd. The brokerage currently has a $170.00 target price on the credit services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 4.72% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Mastercard’s stock has outperformed the industry in last year. 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. The acquisitions 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 2.5% upward over the last 90 days. It, however, continues to face increasing costs, a volatile forex environment and legal issues. Also, higher incentives and rewards will put pressure on the bottom line.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $156.00 price objective on shares of Mastercard in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. Guggenheim upgraded shares of Mastercard from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $135.00 to $153.00 in a research report on Monday, September 11th. Instinet restated a “buy” rating and set a $163.00 price objective (up previously from $153.00) on shares of Mastercard in a research report on Saturday, September 9th. Cowen restated a “buy” rating and set a $137.00 price objective on shares of Mastercard in a research report on Friday, September 8th. Finally, KeyCorp reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $150.00 price target on shares of Mastercard in a report on Thursday, September 7th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $161.82.

Shares of Mastercard (MA) traded up $1.41 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $162.33. 3,039,310 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,470,000. The stock has a market cap of $171,850.00, a P/E ratio of 37.84, a P/E/G ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 1.21. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 1.66 and a current ratio of 1.66. Mastercard has a 52 week low of $104.01 and a 52 week high of $162.52.

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The credit services provider reported $1.34 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.23 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $3.40 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.28 billion. Mastercard had a net margin of 38.70% and a return on equity of 78.38%. Mastercard’s quarterly revenue was up 18.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.08 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that Mastercard will post 4.54 EPS for the current year.

Mastercard declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Monday, December 4th that allows the company to buyback $4.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the credit services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Mastercard news, insider Edward Grunde Mclaughlin sold 17,167 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $151.81, for a total transaction of $2,606,122.27. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 47,901 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,271,850.81. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.30% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Proficio Capital Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of Mastercard by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 905 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $118,000 after purchasing an additional 12 shares during the last quarter. First Interstate Bank boosted its stake in shares of Mastercard by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. First Interstate Bank now owns 1,643 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $200,000 after purchasing an additional 23 shares during the last quarter. Lourd Capital LLC boosted its stake in shares of Mastercard by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Lourd Capital LLC now owns 5,423 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $659,000 after purchasing an additional 26 shares during the last quarter. Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blaney LLC boosted its stake in shares of Mastercard by 1.8% during the 2nd quarter. Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blaney LLC now owns 2,427 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $295,000 after purchasing an additional 44 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Mastercard by 2.4% during the 2nd quarter. American Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,100 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $255,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.58% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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