Investors sold shares of Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA) on strength during trading hours on Wednesday. $75.00 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $127.21 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $52.21 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Mastercard had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Mastercard traded up $0.36 for the day and closed at $159.86

Several research firms have weighed in on MA. Vetr raised shares of Mastercard from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $158.70 price target on the stock in a report on Thursday. Barclays reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $170.00 price target on shares of Mastercard in a report on Friday, January 5th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $164.00 price target on shares of Mastercard in a report on Monday. Wells Fargo & Co reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $178.00 price target (up from $167.00) on shares of Mastercard in a report on Tuesday. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Mastercard from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $170.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $160.69.

The company has a market cap of $171,300.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.51, a P/E/G ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 1.21. The company has a quick ratio of 1.66, a current 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 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.23 by $0.11. Mastercard had a net margin of 38.70% and a return on equity of 78.38%. The company had revenue of $3.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.28 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.08 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 18.1% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts expect that Mastercard Incorporated will post 4.54 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 9th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, January 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, January 8th. This is a boost from Mastercard’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.62%. Mastercard’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 23.31%.

Mastercard declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Monday, December 4th that allows the company to buyback $4.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the credit services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, insider Edward Grunde Mclaughlin sold 17,167 shares of Mastercard stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $151.81, for a total value of $2,606,122.27. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 47,901 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,271,850.81. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 0.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in MA. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in Mastercard by 784.3% in 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 acquiring an additional 14,962,583 shares during the last quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership increased its stake in Mastercard by 289.7% in 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 acquiring an additional 2,654,308 shares during the last quarter. Harding Loevner LP increased its stake in Mastercard by 170.7% in the third quarter. Harding Loevner LP now owns 3,447,079 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $194,599,000 after acquiring an additional 2,173,507 shares during the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors increased its stake in Mastercard by 15.8% in 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 acquiring an additional 1,729,179 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Mastercard by 2.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 65,297,307 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $7,930,357,000 after acquiring an additional 1,490,267 shares during the last quarter. 75.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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