"The announcement of Ajay Banga was the first step in a succession plan," Smith says in an email Tuesday. "While the company doesn't say that Mr. Banga will get the top spot for sure, they haven't suggested that it is unreasonable to think it will occur."
MasterCard shares have risen 39% this year, while rival Visa's (V) shares have risen 28%, a hefty feat considering that most other financial stocks have fallen this year.
Robert Dodd, an analyst at Morgan Keegan, does not read too much into Selander's move.
"I don't think this is necessarily any indication that a transition is in anyway imminent in the next year or so," he says. "
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