Visa (V) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Visa (NYSE:V) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Saturday morning. The firm currently has $133.00 price objective on the credit-card processor’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Visa’s shares have outperformed the industry in a year's time. The company's key business drivers, payments volume, cross model volume and process transactions remained strong and stable across the globe. Numerous strategic acquisitions and alliances, technology upgrades and effective marketing have paved the way for its long-term growth that have led to consistent revenue growth over the past several years. Visa is well poised to gain from the growing electronic payment processing and strong international business. A solid balance sheet ensures effective capital deployment. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 1.1% upward over the last 60 days  Nevertheless, high client incentives, forex volatility are some of the headwinds.”

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Several other equities analysts also recently commented on the stock. Vetr downgraded shares of Visa from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $135.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Thursday. ValuEngine raised shares of Visa from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, April 2nd. Sanford C. Bernstein assumed coverage on shares of Visa in a research note on Tuesday, March 27th. They set an outperform rating and a $143.00 price objective for the company. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a positive rating and set a $148.00 price objective on shares of Visa in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Finally, Mizuho reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $136.00 price objective on shares of Visa in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirty-two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Visa presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $134.97.

NYSE V opened at $117.70 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 2.07, a current ratio of 2.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60. Visa has a 12-month low of $88.13 and a 12-month high of $126.88. The stock has a market cap of $242,525.22, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.82, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 0.99.

Visa (NYSE:V) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The credit-card processor reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $4.86 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.82 billion. Visa had a net margin of 38.12% and a return on equity of 32.97%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 9.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.86 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that Visa will post 4.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Visa declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Thursday, February 1st that allows the company to buyback $7.50 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the credit-card processor to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, EVP Lynne Biggar sold 1,712 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total transaction of $205,440.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 0.14% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Chemical Bank boosted its holdings in Visa by 12.2% in the fourth quarter. Chemical Bank now owns 26,253 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock worth $2,993,000 after purchasing an additional 2,851 shares during the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in Visa by 24.1% in the fourth quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 284,196 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock worth $32,404,000 after purchasing an additional 55,137 shares during the last quarter. Certified Advisory Corp purchased a new stake in Visa in the fourth quarter worth approximately $465,000. Ackerman Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Visa in the fourth quarter worth approximately $461,000. Finally, Wagner Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Visa in the fourth quarter worth approximately $253,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.52% of the company’s stock.

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About Visa

Visa Inc operates as a payments technology company worldwide. The company facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among consumers, merchants, financial institutions, businesses, strategic partners, and government entities. It operates VisaNet, a processing network that enables authorization, clearing, and settlement of payment transactions; and offers fraud protection for account holders and assured payment for merchants.

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