Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Thursday, July 27th.

According to Zacks, “Visa’s third-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings of $0.86 per share, beat estimates by 7.5% and grew 25% year-over-year. Results reflected solid payment volume growth, a double-digit increase in cross-border revenue and healthy operating metrics from every region. Shares of Visa have gained 29% year to date, outperforming the industry’s gain of 23%. This outperformance may have been driven by strategic acquisitions and alliances, technology upgrades and effective marketing that have paved the way for long-term growth. Visa is well poised to gain from the growing electronic payment processing and strong international business. A solid balance sheet position ensures effective capital deployment. However, higher expenses, forex volatility, increased client incentives, global economic uncertainty and legal headwinds remain concerns.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. boosted their target price on shares of Visa from $100.00 to $106.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 18th. Instinet reissued a “buy” rating and set a $105.00 target price (up from $103.00) on shares of Visa in a report on Sunday, April 23rd. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and issued a $104.00 price target on shares of Visa in a research report on Sunday, April 23rd. Vetr upgraded shares of Visa from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $95.32 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, April 27th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. restated a “buy” rating and issued a $100.00 price target on shares of Visa in a research report on Thursday, May 25th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-six have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $104.56.

Shares of Visa (V) traded up 1.03% during trading on Thursday, reaching $103.52. 4,009,420 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $236.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.50 and a beta of 0.94. Visa has a 12-month low of $75.17 and a 12-month high of $103.75. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $98.13 and a 200 day moving average price of $92.48.

Visa (NYSE:V) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The credit-card processor reported $0.86 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.05. Visa had a net margin of 36.53% and a return on equity of 30.95%. The firm had revenue of $4.57 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.36 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.69 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 25.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Visa will post $3.43 EPS for the current year.

Visa declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, April 20th that authorizes the company to buyback $5.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the credit-card processor to reacquire up to 2.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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In related news, EVP Tullier Kelly Mahon sold 29,772 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $100.91, for a total transaction of $3,004,292.52. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 17,360 shares in the company, valued at $1,751,797.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. 0.14% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vicus Capital increased its stake in Visa by 17.4% in the first quarter. Vicus Capital now owns 4,719 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock valued at $419,000 after buying an additional 701 shares during the period. Bienville Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Visa by 15.0% in the fourth quarter. Bienville Capital Management LLC now owns 4,830 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock valued at $377,000 after buying an additional 630 shares during the period. Eton Park Capital Management L.P. acquired a new stake in Visa during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $116,484,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Visa during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $160,000. Finally, Quest Investment Management Inc. OR increased its stake in Visa by 10.0% in the fourth quarter. Quest Investment Management Inc. OR now owns 206,815 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock valued at $16,136,000 after buying an additional 18,784 shares during the period. 82.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Visa Company Profile

Visa Inc (Visa) is a payments technology company that connects consumers, merchants, financial institutions, businesses, strategic partners and government entities to electronic payments. The Company operates through payment services segment. The Company enables global commerce through the transfer of value and information among the participants.

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