Mastercard Rises as Two Separate Analysts Upgrade the Credit-Card Giant

Shares of Mastercard rise after the electronic payments network giant receives two separate price-target upgrades from Wall Street analysts.

Shares of Mastercard  (MA) - Get Report gained on Monday after the credit-card giant received two separate price-target upgrades from Wall Street analysts, who both see solid upside growth potential in the company’s payment networks.

In a note to clients, Nomura Instinet analyst Bill Carcache raised his price target for Mastercard to $354 from $324 and kept his buy rating on the stock amid what he sees as "high secular" growth in its payment networks business.

Meantime, Bernstein analyst Harshita Rawat also raised the one-year price target on Mastercard - to $355 from $300 - and held her outperform rating on the shares for similar reasons.

That helped push up Mastercard shares in on Monday, with the stock gaining 1.05% to $314.43 on the New York Stock Exchange. 

TheStreet’s Jim Cramer recently singled out Mastercard as “the fastest growing major financial company,” telling Action Alerts PLUS members on his monthly call in November that the company is “the one that is widely considered to have the best payments technology.

Said Cramer: "You have to believe that, or why would Apple and Goldman choose them for their card?"

With a five-year compound growth rate of 25%, Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga "has vaulted this company to the lead of the majors - phenomenal for a $280 billion company," Cramer said.

Mastercard reports fourth-quarter earnings on Jan. 29. Analysts polled by FactSet are expecting per-share earnings of $1.87 on revenue of $4.4 billion. The company earned $2.07 a share in its third quarter, above analysts’ forecasts of $2.01 a share, on revenue of $4.5 billion.

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