Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN) To Acquire Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE: HPY) for $100 Per Share

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Shares of Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY) are up considerably in pre-market trading this morning after it was announced that Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN) had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the company at a price of $100 per outstanding share, or $4.3 billion. This is a 17.5% premium over Tuesday’s closing price.

“This partnership with Heartland marks a major milestone for our company, significantly enhancing our direct presence in our largest market and transforming Global Payments into the leading provider of integrated payments technology solutions in the world,” said Jeffrey S. Sloan, Chief Executive Officer of Global Payments. “The combination of strong businesses and cultures in high growth markets will generate exceptional opportunities for our employees, customers, partners and shareholders worldwide.”

The stock increased 0.07% or $0.06 during the last trading session, hitting $85.16. About 283,392 shares traded hands. HPY has risen 62.19% since May 13, 2015 and is uptrending. It has outperformed the S&P500 by 65.86%.

From a total of 13 analysts covering Heartland Payment Systems (NYSE:HPY) stock, 4 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 9 a “Hold”. This means that 31% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $90 while the lowest target price is $62. The mean of all analyst targets is $75.27 which is -11.61% below today’s ($85.16) stock price. Heartland Payment Systems was the topic of 19 analyst reports since August 4, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Credit Suisse initiated shares on December 11 with a “Outperform” rating. Robert W. Baird downgraded shares to a”Neutral” rating and a $74 target share price in their report from an October 26. Piper Jaffray maintained HPY stock in a recent report from November 2 with a “Overweight” rating. Wood downgraded the rating on October 6. Wood has a “Market Perform” rating and a $70 price target on shares. Finally, Raymond James downgraded the stock to a “Mkt Perform” rating in a report they issued on a November 2.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.21 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.20, from 1.01 in 2015Q2. The ratio increased, as 14 funds sold all their Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. shares they owned while 64 reduced their positions. 30 funds bought stakes while 64 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 46.94 million shares which is 22.79% more than the previous share count of 38.22 million in 2015Q2.

Copper Rock Capital Partners Llc holds 2.18% of its total portfolio in Heartland Payment Systems, Inc., equating to 409,568 shares. Apex Capital Management owns 1.33 million shares representing 1.9% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Copeland Capital Management Llc has 1.38% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 356,886 shares. The Oregon-based Hood River Capital Management Llc has a total of 1.17% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Arbor Capital Management Llc, a Minnesota-based fund reported 83,172 shares owned.

Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. provides card payment processing services to merchants throughout the United States. The company has a market cap of $3.13 billion. The Firm has the following reportable divisions: Payment Processing, Campus Solutions, Heartland School Solutions, Heartland Payroll Solutions and Other. It has 75.88 P/E ratio. The Payment Processing segment provides card payment processing and related services.

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