Mastercard (MA) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has a $275.00 target price on the credit services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 9.85% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Mastercard’s stock has outperformed the industry in a year's time. The company is poised for growth, given its solid market position, ongoing expansion and digital initiatives, and opportunities from the shift toward electronic payments. Its numerous acquisitions have aided revenue growth. Mastercard’s earnings of $1.78 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.66 and was up 18.7% year over year. Solid results were led by higher switched transactions, increase in cross-border volume and gross dollar volume, and gains from acquisitions, partly offset by an increase in rebates and incentives. However, escalating costs will put pressure on margins. Also, in order to gain customers and new business, Mastercard has been incurring quite high levels of costs under rebates and incentives, which remains a concern. Nevertheless, its strong balance sheet enables business investment, thereby driving growth.”

MA has been the topic of a number of other reports. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price objective on shares of Mastercard from $238.00 to $270.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 11th. KeyCorp increased their target price on shares of Mastercard from $230.00 to $265.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, May 3rd. Nomura increased their target price on shares of Mastercard to $252.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Oppenheimer increased their target price on shares of Mastercard from $242.00 to $259.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 17th. Finally, Raymond James increased their target price on shares of Mastercard from $247.00 to $278.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, April 26th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-five have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $247.58.

Shares of NYSE:MA traded up $4.41 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $250.35. The stock had a trading volume of 138,557 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,410,534. Mastercard has a 1 year low of $171.89 and a 1 year high of $257.43. The company has a current ratio of 1.40, a quick ratio of 1.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.12. The company has a market cap of $246.57 billion, a PE ratio of 38.57, a P/E/G ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 1.15.

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The credit services provider reported $1.78 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.66 by $0.12. Mastercard had a net margin of 40.82% and a return on equity of 129.95%. The company had revenue of $3.89 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.86 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.50 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Mastercard will post 7.6 EPS for the current year.

In other news, General Counsel Timothy H. Murphy sold 60,428 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $230.31, for a total value of $13,917,172.68. Following the completion of the sale, the general counsel now owns 46,331 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,670,492.61. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Ajay Banga sold 252,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $250.92, for a total transaction of $63,382,392.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 427,638 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $107,302,926.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 381,530 shares of company stock worth $93,705,711 over the last three months. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MA. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. lifted its position in shares of Mastercard by 1.0% during the first quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. now owns 4,560 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $1,074,000 after purchasing an additional 43 shares in the last quarter. Next Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Mastercard by 6.8% in the first quarter. Next Capital Management LLC now owns 674 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $159,000 after acquiring an additional 43 shares in the last quarter. Coldstream Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in Mastercard by 1.6% in the first quarter. Coldstream Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,808 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $661,000 after acquiring an additional 43 shares in the last quarter. Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management LLC raised its holdings in Mastercard by 2.1% in the first quarter. Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,233 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $534,000 after acquiring an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mechanics Bank Trust Department increased its stake in Mastercard by 3.8% during the first quarter. Mechanics Bank Trust Department now owns 1,245 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $293,000 after purchasing an additional 45 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.29% of the company’s stock.

About Mastercard

Mastercard Incorporated, a technology company, provides transaction processing and other payment-related products and services in the United States and internationally. It facilitates the processing of payment transactions, including authorization, clearing, and settlement, as well as delivers related products and services.

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