Most people don't think of credit card companies as being warm and fuzzy but that's not stopping investors from buying.
Visa's stock hit a new 52-week high Tuesday and MasterCard is just shy of that mark for its stock.
It's been a long road.
Back in 2005, a group of merchants sued Visa (V), MasterCard (MA) and other credit card processors for allegedly conspiring to fix so-called swipe fees at unfairly high levels. They managed to settle their differences, with 7 million merchants splitting $6 billion in damages under a proposed deal.
While a number of retail groups are still up in arms over the settlement, which still needs final approval, investors appear to be pretty happy that the big card companies seem to be emerging relatively unscathed.
StockTwits traders like what they're seeing
That certainly appeared to be a prescient move.
The mobile payments start-up created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey serves more than 8 million customers a day through its mobile apps. And Square recently landed a major deal with Starbucks (SBUX).
While Square is clearly a dominant force, it's not the only game in town. Just last month, Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T) and T-Mobile announced plans to launch a mobile commerce network, named Isis, in two cities.
That's a good point. What comes up must come down, or something like that. But in all seriousness, when stocks are at the top of their game there's a tendency to start trying to time the fall. But in the case of Visa and MasterCard, they have pretty decent fundamentals.
Earlier this month, Visa reported better-than-expected earnings and saw its price target raised by several analysts. MasterCard also beat on earnings and lowered its expenses. Most recently, MasterCard has been trying to diversify through selective partnerships.
So there still may be some room to run.
Could MetroPCS finally be getting its knight in shining armor? Investors sure think so.
Deutsche Telekom confirmed Tuesday that it was in talks with MetroPCS to merge the beleaguered wireless carrier with its T-Mobile USA unit.
MetroPCS has been bleeding subscribers. But it has a nice cash cushion. At the end of the second quarter, MetroPCS had $2.3 billion of cash and cash equivalents, and short-term investments. That's nothing to sneeze MORECatherine Tymkiw - Oct 2, 2012 12:35 PM ET
In a classic case of be careful what you wish for, shares of AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) both tumbled more than 2% Friday morning even though pre-orders for Apple's (AAPL) eagerly anticipated iPhone 5 sold out in under an hour. Meanwhile, Apple hit another all-time high and continued its march toward $700.
Why are investors dumping Big Red and Ma Bell? My colleague David Goldman has already explained how the MOREPaul R. La Monica - Sep 14, 2012 11:27 AM ET
Investors have plenty of questions about the future of RadioShack following a dismal earnings report, but the electronics retail is still claiming to have the answers.
As it delivered a surprise $21 million loss for the second quarter, RadioShack (RSH) said it would also suspend its dividend program to help bolster its balance sheet. A balance sheet that's saddled with $679 million of debt, including an upcoming debt maturity of $375 MOREHibah Yousuf - Jul 25, 2012 12:25 PM ET
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