Today, MasterCard Inc. (MA) Cut to “Hold” at The Zacks Investment Research

Today, MasterCard Inc. (MA) Cut to “Hold” at The Zacks Investment Research

MasterCard Inc. (NYSE:MA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “MasterCard shares have outperformed Zacks categorized Financial Transaction Services industry over the last three months. The company 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. MasterCard’s product-diversification initiatives augur well for the long term. 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, escalating costs, a challenging forex environment as well as litigations.”

Several other analysts have also issued reports on the company. BMO Capital Markets restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $128.00 price objective (up previously from $120.00) on shares of MasterCard in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $112.00 price objective on shares of MasterCard in a research note on Thursday, September 8th. Vetr lowered MasterCard from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $105.86 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, September 22nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their price objective on MasterCard from $108.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Barclays PLC restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $120.00 price objective (up previously from $110.00) on shares of MasterCard in a research note on Friday, October 21st. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $110.90.

Shares of MasterCard (NYSE:MA) traded up 1.12% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $105.73. The company had a trading volume of 1,553,060 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $115.20 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.23 and a beta of 1.22. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $103.56 and its 200-day moving average is $97.69. MasterCard has a 12-month low of $78.52 and a 12-month high of $108.93.

MasterCard (NYSE:MA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 28th. The company reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, beating the 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 firm earned $2.88 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.74 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.91 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 14.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that MasterCard will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 9th. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 10th were given 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 (DPR) is presently 20.99%.

In other news, major shareholder Foundation Mastercard sold 72,624 shares of MasterCard stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $103.03, for a total value of $7,482,450.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 114,592,747 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,806,490,723.41. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Michael Fraccaro sold 2,514 shares of MasterCard stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $102.99, for a total value of $258,916.86. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 5,687 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $585,704.13. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.14% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. 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 valued at $5,283,508,000 after buying an additional 391,517 shares during the period. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its stake in shares of 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 last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in shares of 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 last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in shares of 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 last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised its stake in shares of 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 last quarter. 75.02% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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