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Mastercard Inc (MA): Hedge Funds Are Bullish and Insiders Are Undecided, What Should You Do?

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Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA), the global payments behemoth, has seen its share price rise a solid 26.7% year-to-date, and the stock isn’t overly expensive when looking at the valuation multiples. So does it make sense what the richest investors are doing? Yup.

To many of your fellow readers, hedge funds are viewed as delayed, outdated investment vehicles of a period lost to current times. Although there are over 8,000 hedge funds in operation today, this site looks at the elite of this group, close to 525 funds. It is widely held that this group has its hands on most of all hedge funds’ total capital, and by paying attention to their highest quality investments, we’ve uncovered a few investment strategies that have historically outstripped Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have topped the S&P 500 index by 33 percentage points in 11 months (explore the details and some picks here).

Equally as crucial, positive insider trading sentiment is another way to analyze the investments you’re interested in. Obviously, there are a number of incentives for a corporate insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would buy. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this tactic if investors know where to look (learn more here).

Mastercard Inc (MA)

Thus, we’re going to analyze the recent info about Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA).

How are hedge funds trading Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA)?

At the end of the second quarter, a total of 72 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 6% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings considerably.

When using filings from the hedgies we track, Harris Associates, managed by Natixis Global Asset Management, holds the largest position in Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA). Harris Associates has a $1.3187 billion position in the stock, comprising 2.8% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Gardner Russo & Gardner, managed by Tom Russo, which held a $563 million position; the fund has 6.6% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies that hold long positions include Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global, Chase Coleman and Feroz Dewan’s Tiger Global Management LLC and Donald Chiboucis’s Columbus Circle Investors.

Consequently, certain bigger names have jumped into Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) headfirst. Gardner Russo & Gardner, managed by Tom Russo, assembled the largest position in Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA). Gardner Russo & Gardner had 563 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global also made a $497.1 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Chase Coleman and Feroz Dewan’s Tiger Global Management LLC, Donald Chiboucis’s Columbus Circle Investors, and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

How are insiders trading Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA)?

Legal insider trading, particularly when it’s bullish, is best served when the company in question has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the last six-month time period, Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 7 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

We’ll go over the relationship between both of these indicators in other stocks similar to Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA). These stocks are Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK), Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE:FIS), Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISV), Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO), and Visa Inc (NYSE:V). All of these stocks are in the business services industry and their market caps are similar to MA’s market cap.

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