Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Mastercard’s stock has outperformed the industry year to date. Its third-quarter 2017 earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate, mainly driven by strong transaction, higher cross border volumes and gains from acquisitions. Mastercard 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. 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.”

Several other brokerages have also weighed in on MA. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued an overweight rating and issued a $150.00 price objective (up previously from $143.00) on shares of Mastercard in a report on Friday, September 8th. Bank of America Corporation lifted their price objective on Mastercard from $165.00 to $170.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, November 6th. Cowen and Company reissued an outperform rating and issued a $137.00 price objective (up previously from $129.00) on shares of Mastercard in a report on Sunday, July 30th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. lifted their price objective on Mastercard and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Tuesday, July 18th. Finally, BidaskClub raised Mastercard from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued 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 an average price target of $157.68.

Shares of Mastercard (NYSE MA) traded up $0.25 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $149.54. The stock had a trading volume of 1,795,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,518,307. Mastercard has a 1 year low of $99.51 and a 1 year high of $152.00. The stock has a market cap of $158,312.31, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.70, a PEG ratio of 1.99 and a beta of 1.21. The company has a current ratio of 1.66, a quick ratio of 1.66 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83.

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The credit services provider reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the 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 firm had revenue of $3.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.28 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.08 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 18.1% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts forecast that Mastercard will post 4.54 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, November 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 6th were paid a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, October 5th. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.59%. Mastercard’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 20.47%.

In other Mastercard news, insider Michael Fraccaro sold 5,800 shares of Mastercard stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $147.59, for a total value of $856,022.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Craig Vosburg sold 14,200 shares of Mastercard stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $141.86, for a total value of $2,014,412.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 40,646 shares in the company, valued at $5,766,041.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 25,000 shares of company stock worth $3,582,984 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.30% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of MA. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in shares of Mastercard by 784.3% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 16,870,229 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $2,048,899,000 after buying an additional 14,962,583 shares during the period. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership increased its stake in shares of Mastercard by 289.7% during the second quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 3,570,551 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $433,643,000 after buying an additional 2,654,308 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Mastercard by 2.9% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 63,807,040 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $7,176,378,000 after buying an additional 1,814,116 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors increased its stake in shares of Mastercard by 15.8% during the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 12,685,589 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $1,540,665,000 after buying an additional 1,729,179 shares during the period. Finally, Clearbridge Investments LLC increased its stake in shares of Mastercard by 22,644.6% during the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 1,685,146 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $189,528,000 after buying an additional 1,677,737 shares during the period. 76.08% of the stock is currently 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, 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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