Fruth Investment Management trimmed its holdings in Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA) by 2.4% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 28,281 shares of the credit services provider’s stock after selling 700 shares during the period. Mastercard comprises about 1.8% of Fruth Investment Management’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 10th largest holding. Fruth Investment Management’s holdings in Mastercard were worth $4,280,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the business. Boys Arnold & Co. Inc. boosted its position in shares of Mastercard by 7.8% during the second quarter. Boys Arnold & Co. Inc. now owns 5,006 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $608,000 after buying an additional 363 shares during the period. OMERS ADMINISTRATION Corp acquired a new position in shares of Mastercard during the second quarter worth about $2,351,000. Baldwin Investment Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Mastercard by 5.9% during the second quarter. Baldwin Investment Management LLC now owns 3,600 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $437,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Captrust Financial Advisors acquired a new position in shares of Mastercard during the second quarter worth about $172,000. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada boosted its position in shares of Mastercard by 1.2% during the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 4,136,794 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $502,413,000 after buying an additional 50,050 shares during the period. 75.79% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several research firms have recently weighed in on MA. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on Mastercard to $206.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday. Cantor Fitzgerald upped their price objective on Mastercard to $198.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday. Barclays upped their price objective on Mastercard from $178.00 to $195.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on Mastercard from $178.00 to $192.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies upped their price objective on Mastercard from $208.00 to $212.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and twenty-nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $176.54.
Mastercard (NYSE:MA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The credit services provider reported $1.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $3.31 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.25 billion. Mastercard had a return on equity of 83.57% and a net margin of 31.33%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 20.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.86 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Mastercard Incorporated will post 5.62 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 9th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 9th will be paid a $0.25 dividend. This is a positive change from Mastercard’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, January 8th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.59%. Mastercard’s dividend payout ratio is currently 27.40%.
Mastercard declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share 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 buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
In other Mastercard news, insider Edward Grunde Mclaughlin sold 17,167 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $151.81, for a total value of $2,606,122.27. Following the sale, the insider now owns 47,901 shares in the company, valued at $7,271,850.81. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 0.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
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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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