Mastercard (NYSE:MA) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday, January 3rd.

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.”

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on MA. Vetr lowered Mastercard from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $158.61 price objective for the company. in a research report on Monday, December 18th. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $180.00 price target (up previously from $166.00) on shares of Mastercard in a research report on Monday, December 11th. Bank of America boosted their price target on Mastercard from $165.00 to $170.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $165.00 price target on shares of Mastercard in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st. Finally, Loop Capital boosted their price target on Mastercard to $167.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $161.82.

Mastercard (MA) traded up $1.41 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $162.33. The company had a trading volume of 3,039,310 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,470,000. Mastercard has a twelve month low of $104.01 and a twelve month high of $162.52. The firm has a market cap of $171,850.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.84, a P/E/G ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 1.21. The company has a quick ratio of 1.66, a current ratio of 1.66 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83.

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The credit services provider reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.23 by $0.11. Mastercard had a return on equity of 78.38% and a net margin of 38.70%. The business had revenue of $3.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.28 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.08 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 18.1% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that Mastercard will post 4.54 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Mastercard announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Monday, December 4th that authorizes the company to buyback $4.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the credit services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, insider Edward Grunde Mclaughlin sold 17,167 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $151.81, for a total transaction of $2,606,122.27. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 47,901 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,271,850.81. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.30% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Proficio Capital Partners LLC raised its position in Mastercard by 1.3% during the second quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 905 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $118,000 after buying an additional 12 shares during the period. First Interstate Bank raised its position in Mastercard by 1.4% during the second quarter. First Interstate Bank now owns 1,643 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $200,000 after buying an additional 23 shares during the period. Lourd Capital LLC grew its stake in Mastercard by 0.5% in the second quarter. Lourd Capital LLC now owns 5,423 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $659,000 after purchasing an additional 26 shares in the last quarter. Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blaney LLC grew its stake in Mastercard by 1.8% in the second quarter. Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blaney LLC now owns 2,427 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $295,000 after purchasing an additional 44 shares in the last quarter. Finally, American Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in Mastercard by 2.4% in the second quarter. American Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,100 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $255,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. 75.58% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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