MasterCard (MC) IPO this Thursday

Discussion in 'Stocks' started by forex-forex, May 23, 2006.

  1. MasterCard (MC) IPO this Thursday. Should be interesting
  2. Very.

    Could be a great investment also. Of course Im sure every other investor, trader, institutions and hedge fund are dying to buy this.

    Probably open up at 50 P/E.
  3. Do I see street hustlers will issue upgrade here and there to prop up the market for this IPO?
  4. JonHoyler


    NEW YORK ( - MasterCard is expected to hit the market with a bang when it makes its debut on the New York Stock Exchange as early as next week.

    But there may be reason for long-term investors to whimper.

    Investors big and small are expected to gobble up shares of the credit card association, which has a long history of stable performance. But the company's future appears less certain.

    MasterCard faces mounting lawsuits, and long-term investors could end up footing the company's legal bills, analysts said.

    Company officials declined to comment, citing "quiet period" rules that prohibit them from publicly discussing information disclosed in the prospectus ahead of the IPO.

    MasterCard is expected to raise as much as $2.6 billion when it sells shares to underwriters, which would make it the biggest initial public offering since 2004. It expects to start trading on the Big Board as early as next week under the symbol "MA."

    The timing apparently couldn't be better. The initial public offering market has been sizzling, with a number of companies rushing to file to go public. And in the last year, IPOs in the financial sector have averaged a year-to-date return of 17 percent, according to Renaissance Capital's

    MasterCard has said it plans to sell about 46 percent of its total shares. It expects its shares to price between $40 and $43 a share, which would value the total company at about $5.6 billion. By comparison, rival American Express (Research) has a market capitalization of about $64 billion.
    Charge it

    Investors in the IPO market like to see growth, and while MasterCard is a well established company, its business has benefited as consumers move from paper to electronic payments. The total value of transactions on MasterCard-branded cards - including purchases and cash advances - rose 13 percent last year to $1.7 trillion, according to company estimates.

    "Credit cards have been around for a while and they are arguably becoming a mature product," James McGrath, an industry specialist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Payment Cards Center, an organization that studies consumer credit trends. But there continues to be growth in electronic payments, including credit cards and debit cards, he said.

    Purchase, N.Y.-based MasterCard is the second-largest payment system after Visa International. The credit card association was formed by a group of banks in 1966 and now processes transactions for nearly 25,000 financial institutions in 210 countries.

    The company's solid financial foundation is one of the reasons its offering is expected to go well. MasterCard posted a $126.7 million profit in the quarter ended March 31, up about 36 percent from a year earlier, according to its prospectus. Sales grew 12 percent to $738.5 million.

    "The sense of profit per dollar is excellent, and for a company of this weight and size, that's very important," said Brian Hamilton, CEO and co-founder of Sageworks, a financial analysis firm that focuses on private companies.

    As part of its offering, the company plans to donate about 13.5 million newly issued shares to The MasterCard Foundation, a private charitable group. MasterCard expects to post a loss in the current fiscal year as a result of the donation.

    But Hamilton said MasterCard's core business is growing, and the company is managing costs well. "The cash position of the company is strong and will remain strong if future conditions are even close to current performance." Hamilton said.
    Legal woes

    But the company's legal exposure could hurt it in the long run, analysts said. It's under fire from retailers over the fees that get tacked on to each transaction. Other card brands also charge the company unfairly stifles competition. MasterCard's top rival, closely held Visa, faces similar challenges.

    MasterCard has booked about $860 million in expenses related to legal settlements over the last three fiscal years. It settled a lawsuit brought on behalf of merchants in 2003 but a number of cases remain outstanding, including separate suits filed by Morgan Stanley's (Research) Discover and American Express alleging the credit card association competes unfairly.

    MasterCard's potential legal liability is the No. 1 question on investors' minds, according to Craig Maurer, an analyst with Soleil Securities, who adds that no one can predict how the situation will play out.

    But that doesn't necessarily mean its IPO will fizzle.

    The attractiveness of the deal is likely to depend on each investor's time line, Maurer said. "Those who have a short to medium focus are fairly safe. But for people thinking about putting this in a retirement fund, clearly there's a risk."


    We'll have to wait and see...personally, I think I'm going to sit this one out.
  5. Who's going to trade this tomorrow?
  6. MA valued at 14 times earnings, relative bargain compared to similar companies. Should be a successful IPO.
  7. ill have MA up, but i expect it wont even go thru it's high. Look at the recent NYSE IPOs they have all been nonevents, THI ZZ VN BKC. I dont even get excited seeing big IPOs come out anymore, they are all big disappointments.

    MA will be the same.
  8. i KNEW when it opened up $1 from expected price, something was a stir.

    Hope all you hyenas, got your share of antelope meat out of the lions grips.

    i know i did :)
  9. Wow - where do I subscribe to your newsletter?

  10. haha. hey, if i missed it id agree that i was a shlug. but dinner is on me this weekend...put it on my Mastercard...gains
    #10     May 26, 2006