MasterCard Incorporated (MA): Today's Featured Services Winner

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

MasterCard Incorporated ( MA) pushed the Services sector higher today making it today's featured services winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, MasterCard Incorporated rose $11.10 (1.7%) to $651.50 on average volume. Throughout the day, 708,664 shares of MasterCard Incorporated exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 690,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $643.64-$652.10 after having opened the day at $644.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $640.40. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were: YRC Worldwide ( YRCW), up 17.8%, Five Below ( FIVE), up 17.2%, Xueda Education Group ( XUE), up 14.0% and MTR Gaming Group ( MNTG), up 13.6%.

MasterCard Incorporated, together with its subsidiaries, provides transaction processing and other payment-related services in the United States and internationally. MasterCard Incorporated has a market cap of $73.8 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 30.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 18 analysts that rate MasterCard Incorporated a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MasterCard Incorporated as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

On the negative front, FreeSeas ( FREE), down 13.3%, HD Supply Holdings ( HDS), down 11.2%, VisionChina Media ( VISN), down 10.9% and Paragon Shipping ( PRGN), down 9.1% , were all laggards within the services sector with Urban Outfitters ( URBN) being today's services sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the services sector could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Services ( IYC) while those bearish on the services sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Consumer Sers ( SCC).

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