323.19 +2.92 (0.91%)
Pre-Market: 6:17AM EST
|Bid||322.65 x 1100|
|Ask||323.26 x 1000|
|Day's Range||315.46 - 321.52|
|52 Week Range||199.90 - 327.09|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.03|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||47.63|
|Earnings Date||Jan 28, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.60 (0.51%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Jan 07, 2020|
|1y Target Est||340.54|
The card networks’ ever-evolving business models will be on full display this week. Both Visa Inc. (V) and Mastercard Inc. (MA) have been chasing new revenue opportunities aggressively in recent months, striking deals and partnerships with younger players in the industry. While card processing remains core to the business, both companies have been proactive about staying on top of emerging payments trends, which should be a focal point of their earnings reports this week.
Visa's deal to buy Plaid for $5.3 billion was a big payday for the fintech's co-founders and investors. But SoFi CEO Anthony Noto said in the near future other startups will have no choice but to sell.
Mastercard's (MA) Q4 performance is likely to have benefited from increase in gross dollar value, owing to rise in spending across various geographical markets.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The most recent retail sales data provides a glimpse into the mind of the U.S. consumer.The latest monthly retail sales report from the U.S. Census Bureau recorded December sales (excluding gasoline, automobiles and restaurants) of $384.6 billion. Compared with the prior year’s $ 360.5 billion, that’s a solid year-over-year gain of 6.7%. Sales in November 2019 were $330.2 billion for a 1.1% gain over 2018’s $325.9 billion. Average these two-monthly totals and you get a 4.1% year over year gain for the holiday-shopping period.Those are strong numbers. Delving deeper reveals several interesting data points:\-- consumer sentiment has fully recovered from the lows after the financial crisis and is back to levels that prevailed in mid-2000s;\-- sentiment is still below the frothy dot-com peak of the late 1990s, suggesting that consumers are confident about the future but not in a reckless or unsustainable way;\-- consumer debt relative to disposable income remains at the lowest level in at least four decades, indicating that there's room for them to spend more:These three data points suggest that the next few quarters of gross domestic product growth, retail sales and durable goods orders are likely to be robust.In the typical election year, these economic positives tend to benefit the White House incumbent. I will let others debate whether this is a typical election year.Two other interesting issues worth mentioning: Online sales measured by point-of-sale credit-card transactions from MasterCard’s SpendingPulse showed that e-commerce in 2019 reached all-time highs. E-commerce now accounts for 14% of U.S. retail sales and likely will continue to claim a growing piece of the pie. Worldwide, online sales have nearly tripled during the past five years from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to more than $3.5 trillion in 2019, according to Statista. Projections are for this to more than double during the next five years.One surprise from the MasterCard data is that online shopping is accelerating, rising 18.8% last year compared with 2018’s 18.4%. There are few signs online retail is slowing. If anything, the generation that grew up online doesn't think of e-commerce as anything special; it's simply retail.One other observation: Perhaps the most intriguing online retail outlet is Instagram’s Checkout. It was named 2019’s Technology of the Year by Mobile Marketer. Fashion site Glossy describes Instagram as the next big sales channel “for direct-to-consumer companies and traditional retailers alike.”More than just promoting a brand or product, Instagram is facilitating the sale of products directly to consumers. The company takes its slice of the transaction. Combine this with the lethally accurate algorithms deployed by parent company Facebook Inc. and you can imagine the sort of sales growth that might lie ahead.To give you an idea of the size of this marketplace, Instagram has more than 1 billion accounts active each month worldwide (Facebook has 2.45 billion active users). Most of them have some form of payment system, including credit cards, Venmo, PayPal or Apple Pay.So far, Instagram Checkout has been rolled out slowly since the platform introduced it in March. It has been testing product tags in posts since 2016. Again according to Glossy, tags came to “Instagram Stories” about two years later. The fashion site, quoting Instagram, reports that 130 million people tap a product tag to shop or see a price every month. Instagram is native to mobile, which is where the new generation of consumers spend most of their connected time. Although Instagram hasn't made a big splash in online retailing yet, the potential is there.To be sure, there are some inklings of problems with counterfeit goods. This has been an issue that has haunted both Amazon.com Inc. and eBay Inc. If Instagram wants to become a serious player in retail, it needs to nip this in the bud.Disruption doesn't sleep. Don’t be surprised if the incumbent stars of e-commerce -- the leading members of the last generation of disruptive technologies — become the new victims of creative destruction.The relative health of the American consumer makes the disruption all the more likely — and sooner rather than later.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Exchange-traded funds that cater to environmental, social and governance principles are being pitched as a way for investors to sleep with peace of mind, but they better be prepared to wake up with something less than dreamy returns.Consider the iShares MSCI USA ESG Select Social Index Fund (SUSA), one of the oldest and largest ESG ETFs on the market. SUSA, which tracks the 100 stocks with the highest ESG ratings, has trailed the S&P 500 Index by 37 percentage points during the past 10 years.(1) (I honed in on SUSA because it has a long-term track record. Most ESG ETFs are very new.) The reason it lagged taps into one of the most important yet underreported aspects of ESG funds: surprising exclusions. While some of the stocks excluded from SUSA are obvious, such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp., some are less obvious, such as Amazon.com Inc., Netflix Inc., Ross Stores Inc. and Mastercard Inc. — all of which are up more than 1,000% during the past 10 years. Not having stocks like these is why SUSA couldn’t keep up with the overall market. Not to pile on here, but SUSA’s underperformance also came with a higher standard deviation, or level of volatility.This potential for underperfomance is why I think investors should take what I call “The Amazon Test” before buying an ESG ETF. It has two parts. The first is to simply ask whether you are willing to miss out on the next Amazon to “clean up” your portfolio. Or even better, if you want to do the leg work, compare the ESG ETF’s holdings to the appropriate broad index and comb through the differences. You may be surprised by what is included in the ETF. (In SUSA’s case, it does hold Facebook Inc. and Nike Inc., which many may find questionable.) I can guarantee investors will probably be a bit baffled.Of course it’s possible that the next Amazon is already in your ESG ETF and that the fund outperforms the market and everyone’s happy. SUSA could very well beat the market during the next 10 years. But investors need to be ready in case it doesn’t.I was curious how people would respond to this question, so I ran an informal Twitter poll and found that only a fifth of people were both interested in ESG and satisfied with missing the next Amazon. That means more than half of ESG-interested investors did not want to miss out on an Amazon, which tends to be excluded from ESG funds because of working conditions that put it on a worker-rights group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of the most dangerous employers in the U.S. Of course, not only highfliers are excluded from many ESG ETFs; so are some of the country’s most revered companies, which many people probably want to own. The best example is Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which is included in fewer ESG ETFs than Exxon and is practically excluded from all of them. It’s the second-lowest-ranked company by Sustainalytics(2) among the S&P 100 Index. Essentially, investors can have ESG or Buffett, but not both. So why is Buffett, one of the greatest investors and philanthropists the world has ever seen, not in these funds? One big reason is Berkshire’s board is only 57% independent, well below the 86% average. Buffett has signaled no intention of changing the company’s business practices. He implied the independent board is a poor metric, saying many such boards he has been on are independent on paper only, with many directors just looking for a payday and typically following the CEO’s lead. Buffett has also said he doesn’t want to burden subsidiary companies, one of which operates coal-fired plants, with unnecessary rules and costs.“We’re not going to spend the time of the people at Berkshire Hathaway Energy responding to questionnaires or trying to score better with somebody that is working on that. It’s just, we trust our managers and I think the performance is at least decent and we keep expenses and needless reporting down to a minimum at Berkshire.”Some have pushed back, saying that “surprising exclusions” are nothing new and exist in other areas such as smart-beta and theme ETFs. This is true, but there is one crucial difference: Those ETFs aren’t generally seeking to replace an investor’s entire equity portion of the portfolio. Because if the goal is to “sleep at night,” then what’s the point of putting a small allocation into an ESG ETF while still investing in other funds, like the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, which hold those “bad” companies you don’t want?(3)For those who are interested in ESG and don’t mind missing out on the next Amazon, the next part of my test is to ask whether they are willing to curb their consumption of the goods and services provided by those excluded companies. For example, are you going to continue to shop at Amazon, drive an SUV or take airplanes 10 times a year? If so, then what’s the point of not owning those stocks? You are just going to rob yourself of profits you helped create. I did an informal poll on this, too, and found only a fifth of those who were willing to miss out on Amazon were also willing to not shop there. Now, I’m not saying you need to live in the woods and eat bugs to be pure enough to be an ESG investor, but you should probably be willing to make some inconvenient choices as a consumer — because, let’s be honest, that’s where investors can truly make a company pay attention. Otherwise, a lot of this is demand trying to demonize supply to soothe its guilt and feel good inside. At the end of my little screening system here we are left with 5% of the investing world that I’d argue has the stomach and commitment to be messing around with ESG ETFs.(5) The rest either just don’t want ESG or are slacktivists — people who want to feel as if they are doing something but are unwilling to make any inconvenient sacrifices such as lagging the market or curbing parts of their lifestyles. These investors should probably just stick with owning the broad market. And while 5% may seem like a small amount, it would actually be a pretty solid base of investors for these ETFs. To convert that into dollars, 5% of ETF assets would equate to $200 billion, a respectable category. Currently, ESG ETFs have only about one-tenth of that amount. And yet there are about 100 products on the market. That’s $200 million per ETF, which is five to 10 times below the average of many other popular areas. Supply has so far outpaced the hype and demand in a way that’s never been seen in the ETF market.And it doesn’t look as if product proliferation will be slowing anytime soon. BlackRock’s Larry Fink recently announced a doubling of the company’s ESG ETF lineup, which means due diligence will be that much more cumbersome. And while this may come off as a bit of a downer to all the excitement around ESG, that’s not my intention. I’m not anti-ESG at all, but I am anti-nasty surprise. I just want to help make sure investors wake up with peace of mind, too.(1) SUSA has also lagged since inception in 2005 by 33% and by 4% over the past 5 years, though it is outperforming by 1% over the past year. And to show I'm not cherry-picking, the other veteran ESG ETF, the iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social ETF (DSI), has lagged the market by 30 percentage points over the past 10 years.(2) An equal-weighted basket of the 20 stocks in the S&P 100 with the lowest Sustainalytics Ranking outperformed the S&P 500 Index by 41% over the past seven years. Sustainalytics is an ESG research and ratings platform whose scores are used on the Bloomberg Terminal.(3) Now, if investors are seeking ESG ETFs because they think there is some premium to capture that can add alpha to their portfolios and they are only allocating a little, then there is less need for this test (although you can never go wrong with looking under the hood of a fund). But largely, ESG ETFs are being pitched and talked about as a “sleep at night” replacement, or a way to support companies that align with investors’ values.(4) Add in the fact that most people don’t know what ESG even stands for, let alone how the scoring systems (which all vary by the way) work, and you get a situation where the product proliferation and hype has far outpaced the education needed to use them.To contact the author of this story: Eric Balchunas at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Eric Balchunas is an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence focused on exchange-traded funds.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Investors continue to pour funds into passive investment products that aim to replicate the performance of benchmark indexes. They’re also increasingly keen that their money gets used to influence corporations to stop damaging the planet and improve social inclusiveness. Unfortunately, many of the products designed to achieve both objectives currently fall short on the goal of responsible investing.The shift in emphasizing environmental, social and governance issues puts pressure on the index providers to come up with benchmarks that more accurately reflect the concerns investors are attempting to express by allocating capital to ESG investment products. Currently, though, even dedicated ESG indexes have shortcomings that many investors are probably unaware of.The U.S. Vegan Climate exchange-traded fund, for example, tracks a $124 billion index created by Beyond Investing that excludes companies engaged in a laundry list of potentially harmful activities, including animal exploitation, human rights abuses and fossil fuels extraction. While the $14 million ETF’s top five holdings — Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Facebook Inc., Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. — may all meet those criteria, they’re hardly the first names that spring to mind when thinking about the words vegan or climate. And there are many other examples.BlackRock Inc.’s announcement this month that it plans to prioritize sustainability in its investment decisions highlights the issue confronting index trackers. With two-thirds of its $7.4 trillion of assets managed passively, the world’s biggest asset manager acknowledged that the bulk of its cash isn’t available to pursue those goals. Harnessing that firepower will become increasingly important if the passive industry is to meet the ESG aspirations of its growing customer base.It’s even likely to radically change the industry, and sooner than people realize. To that point, Hiro Mizuno, the chief investment officer of Japan’s $1.6 trillion Global Pension Investment Fund, says the days are over when it’s enough for passive fund managers to compete simply on providing the lowest tracking errors at the lowest cost. Now they have to add value too. “The main battlefield among our passive managers is going to be in the stewardship area.” he told the Financial Times last month. BlackRock is far from alone in shifting to a more moral investing stance. A survey of 300 institutional investors, financial advisers and fund managers that use ETFs published on Monday by Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. showed that almost three-quarters of respondents expect to increase the amount allocated to ESG investments in the coming year.European participants in the BBH survey ranked ESG-themed products as the ETF category they would most like to see more supply of, while Chinese investors ranked the sector as their second most desired area of expansion, along with more funds designed to track core indexes.Money is flooding into the sector. ESG-designated assets were the fastest-growing category of ETFs listed on Deutsche Boerse AG’s Xetra market last year, with investments more than tripling to more than 23 billion euros ($25 billion). Globally, ESG ETFs have enjoyed net inflows for 52 consecutive weeks, taking in $30 billion in the past year and garnering almost $3.4 billion in the week ended Jan. 20, according to data compiled by Bloomberg LP, which competes in selling index data to investors.There are two main routes whereby ETF providers can meet the implicit demands of clients allocating money to passively managed ESG products. The first is to use their collective muscle to prompt index providers to increase the granularity of the benchmarks used to shape asset allocations. Improving the discrimination of ESG indexes would go a long way to ensuring investors aren’t being hoodwinked into products that aren’t as green or socially savvy as they first appear.The second is trickier. Excluding companies deemed to be damaging the environment or being socially irresponsibly isn’t enough to move the needle. Engaging with the boards of those firms and using the clout of a shareholding to force them to change their ways is much more effective.But that costs money, and the success of the ETF model has been founded in large part on its ability to charge ultra-low fees. If BlackRock and its peers are serious about taking their social responsibilities more seriously, investors will have to pay for the privilege — and the sellers of index trackers will need to be honest about the increased cost of that kind of activism. Let’s hope the buyers of the products decide it’s a price worth paying to do good.To contact the author of this story: Mark Gilbert at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Mark Gilbert is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering asset management. He previously was the London bureau chief for Bloomberg News. He is also the author of "Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Blockchain will dramatically lower transaction costs for retailers, which paid a collective $108 billion last year.
American Express earnings beat views, while revenue was in line. Shares of the Dow Jones financial giant rose to record high and beyond a buy zone.
The trillion-dollar market cap club expanded last week to a third U.S. company, with Google parent Alphabet Inc topping the lofty valuation mark. Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp are also worth more than $1 trillion on the stock market. Social media platform Facebook Inc appears to have the pole position.
Paya, the payments company owned by GTCR, could go up for sale later this year, a person familiar with the situation said. The Atlanta company generates $50 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (also known as Ebitda). Paya is not up for sale right now but it could go on the block sometime mid-year, the person said.
Are you looking for a top-notch mutual fund? Or for individual stock ideas? Either way, you should start your search with the best mutual funds.
Mastercard's (MA) Q4 earnings are likely to have benefited from higher switched transactions, increase in cross-border volume and gross dollar volume, and gains from acquisitions.
SoFi CEO Anthony Noto said Mastercard was more willing to play ball with the fintech to leverage its naming rights to SoFi Stadium as a cardholder benefit.
SoFi, the digital personal finance company, and Mastercard today announced a multifaceted partnership to offer a suite of products and in-person experiences to its nearly one million (and growing) SoFi members.
VANCOUVER , Jan. 23, 2020 /CNW/ - Mastercard today unveiled its new Intelligence and Cyber Centre in Vancouver, Canada . The centre will expand the company's Canadian presence by creating and maintaining a total of 380 jobs, and accelerate innovation in digital and cyber security, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things. The new space in Vancouver will become one of six global technology centres for Mastercard and will develop cyber solutions for the payments ecosystem globally.
In the stock market, there may not be such a thing as a truly conservative stock. Some stocks that look conservative, can get thrown out the window when things get tough, notes John Reese, editor of Validea.
Mastercard and The Rockefeller Foundation today announced data.org as a platform for data science for social impact partnerships.