Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Friday. Stock investors acquired 9,394 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 180% compared to the typical volume of 3,350 call options.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Mastercard in a research report on Friday, April 14th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $123.00 price target on shares of Mastercard and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, March 25th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Mastercard from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 3rd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. increased their price target on shares of Mastercard and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “top pick” rating and issued a $130.00 price target on shares of Mastercard in a report on Friday, June 16th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, twenty-three have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Mastercard currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $125.40.

In other Mastercard news, major shareholder Foundation Mastercard sold 87,618 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $126.60, for a total transaction of $11,092,438.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 112,736,681 shares in the company, valued at $14,272,463,814.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Gary J. Flood sold 83,959 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $115.43, for a total transaction of $9,691,387.37. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 78,819 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,098,077.17. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 333,319 shares of company stock valued at $39,751,311 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.30% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. A.R.T. Advisors LLC raised its stake in Mastercard by 755.8% in the fourth quarter. A.R.T. Advisors LLC now owns 36,800 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $3,799,000 after buying an additional 32,500 shares during the last quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C raised its stake in Mastercard by 3.1% in the fourth quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 904,917 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $93,433,000 after buying an additional 26,865 shares during the last quarter. Guardian Capital LP raised its stake in Mastercard by 16.6% in the fourth quarter. Guardian Capital LP now owns 112,018 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $11,566,000 after buying an additional 15,988 shares during the last quarter. Gardner Lewis Asset Management L P raised its stake in Mastercard by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Gardner Lewis Asset Management L P now owns 77,526 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $8,005,000 after buying an additional 1,670 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Mastercard by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 366,818 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $37,876,000 after buying an additional 16,504 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.74% of the company’s stock.

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) opened at 127.73 on Wednesday. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $121.69 and its 200 day moving average is $113.06. Mastercard has a 1-year low of $90.72 and a 1-year high of $128.16. The stock has a market capitalization of $136.91 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.35 and a beta of 1.17.

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The credit services provider reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $2.73 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.65 billion. Mastercard had a return on equity of 72.95% and a net margin of 37.79%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.86 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Mastercard will post $4.31 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 9th. Investors of record on Friday, July 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.22 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, July 5th. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.69%. Mastercard’s payout ratio is presently 22.98%.

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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.

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