Investors Sell Mastercard (MA) on Strength (MA)

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Traders sold shares of Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) on strength during trading on Thursday. $219.42 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $335.02 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $115.60 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Mastercard had the 11th highest net out-flow for the day. Mastercard traded up $5.98 for the day and closed at $235.87

Several brokerages recently commented on MA. Zacks Investment Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $205.00 price objective on shares of Mastercard in a research note on Monday, December 31st. Wedbush raised their price objective on Mastercard from $220.00 to $235.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 14th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $217.00 price objective on shares of Mastercard in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Oppenheimer raised their price objective on Mastercard from $221.00 to $242.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, February 4th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group began coverage on Mastercard in a research note on Monday, January 28th. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-four have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $226.80.

The company has a market cap of $235.85 billion, a PE ratio of 36.34, a PEG ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 1.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.08, a current ratio of 1.39 and a quick ratio of 1.39.

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The credit services provider reported $1.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.52 by $0.03. Mastercard had a return on equity of 122.25% and a net margin of 39.19%. The firm had revenue of $3.81 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.79 billion. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Mastercard Inc will post 7.55 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, May 9th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, April 9th will be paid a $0.33 dividend. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.56%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, April 8th. Mastercard’s dividend payout ratio is 20.34%.

Mastercard announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, December 4th that permits the company to repurchase $6.50 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the credit services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Mastercard news, insider Edward Grunde Mclaughlin sold 20,269 shares of Mastercard stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $199.53, for a total value of $4,044,273.57. Following the sale, the insider now owns 37,374 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,457,234.22. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, General Counsel Timothy H. Murphy sold 60,428 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 transaction, the general counsel now owns 46,331 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,670,492.61. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MA. Focused Wealth Management Inc bought a new position in shares of Mastercard in the 4th quarter valued at about $25,000. Ruggie Capital Group bought a new position in shares of Mastercard in the 4th quarter valued at about $27,000. Valley National Advisers Inc. grew its holdings in Mastercard by 210.9% during the fourth quarter. Valley National Advisers Inc. now owns 143 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $27,000 after purchasing an additional 97 shares during the period. New Capital Management LP grew its holdings in Mastercard by 50.0% during the fourth quarter. New Capital Management LP now owns 150 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $28,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares during the period. Finally, Avondale Wealth Management bought a new position in Mastercard during the fourth quarter worth about $28,000. Institutional investors own 74.53% of the company’s stock.

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About Mastercard (NYSE:MA)

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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