Andreas
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Andreas in Gainers & Losers,

Investment idea - MasterCard

MasterCard (MA), the world's second largest payment system, recently released a strong financial report for Q3 2015. According to the report, revenue rose 1.6% y-o-y (+8% excluding foreign currency fluctuations) to USD 2.5 bn. A substantial increase in the number of transactions (+12% to 12.3 bn) became a revenue growth driver. The total number of transactions (excluding foreign currency fluctuations) increased by 13%, while the volume of cross-border transactions surged 16%. M&A transactions provided 1 pp growth in total revenue. In addition, 2.2 bn MasterCard cards and Maestro-branded cards were in circulation worldwide at the end of September. Operating profit climbed 2% y-o-y (10% excluding foreign currency fluctuations) to USD 1.44 bn in the reporting period, while adjusted EPS was up 5% (11% excluding foreign currency fluctuations) y-o-y to 91 cents, outpacing the consensus by 3%.

The company generates a significant cash flow, allowing it to pay generous dividends and buy back its own shares. MasterCard bought back 10 mn shares worth USD 930 mn in Q3. The company still has USD 1.2 bn left for buyback. Quarterly dividend reached 16 cents (+46% y-o-y), implying a 0.6% dividend yield.

The company announced the acquisition of Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) for USD 600 mn at the end of April. APT is a leader in the field of cloud analytics, assisting companies to optimize investments and maximize profits. In our opinion, this acquisition will enable MasterCard to spend money more efficiently and help it to improve the company's financial performance.

I am still upbeat about MasterCard’s shares and believe that recent M&A transactions, as well as the launch of new products and access to new geographic markets will allow MasterCard to show strong growth of its financial performance going forward. These factors, along with higher dividend and a share buyback, will boost the company’s share price in the short term.

I raised my target price for MasterCard shares to USD 115 and confirm a Buy recommendation in the mid-term. The short-term technical target is USD 105.