Mastercard (NYSE:MA)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by equities research analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein in a note issued to investors on Monday. They currently have a $180.00 price target on the credit services provider’s stock, up from their prior price target of $166.00. Sanford C. Bernstein’s price target suggests a potential upside of 18.03% from the stock’s current price.

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on MA. Vetr upgraded shares of Mastercard from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $161.72 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, December 5th. Cantor Fitzgerald started coverage on shares of Mastercard in a report on Thursday, September 28th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $165.00 price objective for the company. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Mastercard from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Mastercard from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $160.00 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, September 21st. Finally, Mizuho restated a “hold” rating and set a $140.00 price objective on shares of Mastercard in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-eight have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $159.69.

Shares of Mastercard (NYSE:MA) opened at $152.50 on Monday. Mastercard has a 1 year low of $102.91 and a 1 year high of $154.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 1.66 and a current ratio of 1.66. The company has a market cap of $158,682.84, a P/E ratio of 34.78, a PEG ratio of 2.00 and a beta of 1.20.

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The credit services provider reported $1.34 EPS for the quarter, topping the 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 during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.28 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.08 EPS. Mastercard’s revenue was up 18.1% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Mastercard will post 4.54 earnings per share for the current year.

Mastercard announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Monday, December 4th that permits the company to buyback $4.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the credit services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Mastercard news, insider Craig Vosburg sold 14,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $141.86, for a total value of $2,014,412.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 40,646 shares in the company, valued at $5,766,041.56. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Richard Haythornthwaite sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $142.51, for a total transaction of $712,550.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 45,278 shares in the company, valued at $6,452,567.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 25,000 shares of company stock worth $3,582,984 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.30% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. American Beacon Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Mastercard in the first quarter valued at about $100,000. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC acquired a new stake in Mastercard during the third quarter worth about $102,000. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC grew its stake in Mastercard by 1,365.6% during the second quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 938 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 874 shares in the last quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. grew its stake in Mastercard by 170.1% during the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 867 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 546 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Mastercard during the third quarter worth about $106,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.81% of the company’s stock.

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Mastercard Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Mastercard (NYSE:MA)

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