Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of MasterCard Inc. (NYSE:MA) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published 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.”

MA has been the topic of a number of other reports. BMO Capital Markets reissued an outperform rating and set a $128.00 price target (up from $120.00) on shares of MasterCard in a report on Friday, July 29th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $112.00 price objective on shares of MasterCard in a report on Thursday, September 8th. Vetr downgraded shares of MasterCard from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $105.86 price objective on the stock. in a report on Thursday, September 22nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price objective on shares of MasterCard from $108.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Barclays PLC reaffirmed an overweight rating and set a $120.00 price objective (up from $110.00) on shares of MasterCard in a report on Friday, October 21st. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-three have given a buy rating to the stock. MasterCard has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $110.88.

Analyst Recommendations for MasterCard (NYSE:MA)

MasterCard (NYSE:MA) opened at 103.82 on Friday. MasterCard has a 1-year low of $78.52 and a 1-year high of $108.93. The stock has a market capitalization of $113.12 billion, a PE ratio of 28.70 and a beta of 1.22. The company’s 50 day moving average is $103.70 and its 200-day moving average is $97.82.

MasterCard (NYSE:MA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 28th. The company reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.10. MasterCard had a net margin of 38.11% and a return on equity of 69.11%. The firm had revenue of $2.88 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.74 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.91 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 14.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that MasterCard will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 9th. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 10th were given a dividend of $0.19 per share. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, October 5th. MasterCard’s dividend payout ratio is presently 20.99%.

In other MasterCard news, major shareholder Foundation Mastercard sold 72,624 shares of MasterCard stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 26th. The shares were 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 directly owns 114,592,747 shares in the company, valued at $11,806,490,723.41. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Ann Cairns sold 26,630 shares of MasterCard stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.79, for a total transaction of $2,710,667.70. Following the sale, the insider now owns 58,721 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,977,210.59. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 3.14% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in MA. Seven Bridges Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of MasterCard during the second quarter worth $109,000. Lowe fs LLC boosted its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Feltz Wealth PLAN Inc. bought a new stake in shares of MasterCard during the second quarter worth $121,000. Hanson McClain Inc. boosted its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Thompson Siegel & Walmsley LLC bought a new stake in shares of MasterCard during the second quarter worth $125,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.44% of the company’s stock.

MasterCard Company Profile

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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