Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded shares of Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Thursday. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. currently has $88.00 price target on the stock, up from their prior price target of $80.00.

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on GPN. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a buy rating and set a $83.00 price objective on shares of Global Payments in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a buy rating and set a $79.00 price objective (up previously from $72.00) on shares of Global Payments in a research report on Tuesday, July 12th. Wedbush reiterated an outperform rating and set a $85.00 price objective on shares of Global Payments in a research report on Thursday, September 8th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods boosted their price objective on shares of Global Payments from $88.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a buy rating on shares of Global Payments in a research report on Monday, June 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $76.87.

Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) opened at 74.43 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $11.43 billion, a PE ratio of 36.49 and a beta of 1.16. Global Payments has a 12 month low of $51.29 and a 12 month high of $79.93. The company’s 50-day moving average is $74.92 and its 200-day moving average is $72.61.

Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.73. The company had revenue of $747.10 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $568.81 million. Global Payments had a net margin of 9.37% and a return on equity of 27.99%. Global Payments’s revenue was up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.22 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Global Payments will post $3.47 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 26th. Investors of record on Friday, August 12th were issued a $0.01 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 10th. This represents a $0.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.05%. Global Payments’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 1.95%.

In related news, Director William I. Jacobs sold 600 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.80, for a total value of $45,480.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 44,716 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,389,472.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, COO David E. Mangum sold 8,400 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.71, for a total transaction of $627,564.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 172,060 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,854,602.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.10% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of GPN. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Global Payments by 7.2% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 15,448,116 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,102,686,000 after buying an additional 1,033,050 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Global Payments by 44.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,969,774 shares of the company’s stock valued at $997,163,000 after buying an additional 4,289,181 shares during the period. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its position in shares of Global Payments by 227.4% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 11,997,800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $783,456,000 after buying an additional 8,333,396 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Global Payments by 35.8% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 5,512,377 shares of the company’s stock valued at $393,482,000 after buying an additional 1,454,637 shares during the period. Finally, Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its position in shares of Global Payments by 30.7% in the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 5,367,430 shares of the company’s stock valued at $383,127,000 after buying an additional 1,259,406 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 96.56% of the company’s stock.

About Global Payments

Global Payments Inc is a provider of payment technology services. The Company provides payment and digital commerce solutions. The Company operates in two segments: North America merchant services and International merchant services. The Company’s North America merchant services and International merchant services segments primarily provide payment solutions for credit cards, debit cards, electronic payments and check-related services.

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